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100-car pileup in Texas blamed on heavy fog

One of the things that many drivers take for granted is posted speed limits. It's important for drivers in Houston and elsewhere to remember that sometimes conditions warrant driving below the speed limit, such as heavy fog. Too many Texans found this out the hard way on Thanksgiving when approximately 100 cars were involved in a pileup on Interstate 10 outside of Beaumont.

Right now, police are blaming the massive car accident on the heavy fog that had blanketed the area on the morning of Thanksgiving. But they are also blaming speeding for the chain-reaction series of accidents. The Texas Department of Public Safety is still trying to determine what caused the first accident.

  - Article By Richard Weaver

A 64-year-old man from Pearland, Texas, and his 60-year-old wife were killed in the accident. Approximately 80 people had to be taken to area hospitals, and three remained in the hospital earlier this week.

A series of frantic 911 calls from that morning conveys a bit of the horror that drivers were subjected to. "All the cars are crushed. More people are coming in here and hitting each other," one caller said.

The fog was reportedly so thick that morning that 911 callers were cautioning emergency vehicles about approaching the scene too quickly. Fog that thick usually requires all drivers on the road to slow down, no matter how high the posted speed on the interstate is.

There will no doubt be many insurance claims filed and probably a few lawsuits. Anyone who has been injured in an accident such as this will want to follow the police investigation to determine if an individual or group of drivers are charged with reckless driving or related offenses. But in the mean time this should be used as a learning experience for drivers.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "911 callers helplessly watched I-10 horror unfold," Julie Chang and Dan Wallach, Nov. 26, 2012

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