A 46-car pileup on a snowy interstate in Indiana has left three people dead. The vehicles – most of them semi trucks – collided while driving in poor weather conditions.
More than 20 people were also injured on Interstate 94, which connects Chicago and Detroit, as heavy snowfall and low visibility made for dangerous driving conditions. According to the Associated Press, a front of lake-effect snow was dropping between one to two inches every hour during the time of the multi-car pileup.
"One of the semis started sliding and I think it jackknifed in the middle of the road" and collided with another semi, Indiana teenager Scott Collins said after witnessing the crash. "After that happened, multiple semis locked up...we were pretty nervous."
One of those killed in the accident was 65-year-old James Dalrymple of Chicago. The other two were a married couple from Michigan: Marilyn and Thomas Wolma, 65 and 67 years old, respectively.
As reported by local ABC affiliate RTV6, Indiana State Police Sgt. Ann Wojas said that between 20 and 30 people were injured. They were taken to various local hospitals for treatment, with at least one individual in critical condition.
While the accident occurred Thursday afternoon, all eastbound I-94 lanes were still closed Friday morning as cleanup crews worked to remove the debris.
Frequent bouts of heavy snowfall have slammed the Midwest and north-eastern parts of the United States over the last month. In addition to canceling thousands of flights and wrecking roads, the storms have closed schools and businesses, downed power lines, and brought forth record-low temperatures in many states.
The most recent snowfall prompted Delaware, New Jersey, and New York to declare state of emergencies, with governors urging their citizens to avoid travel as much as possible.
Even those travelling on trains have suffered the consequences of the snowfall, as heavy accumulation stranded three Chicago-bound Amtrak trains earlier this month. More than 500 passengers spent the night on trains while waiting for charter buses to come and transfer them to their destinations.