In icy winter conditions, nearly 40 vehicles ended up in a messy pile-up on an Iowa interstate Thursday.
The chain of crash happened on I-80, about 35 miles outside of Des Moines, when the roadway turned into a sheet of ice as a blizzard blew across the area, according to the Iowa State Patrol.
After an initial crash, others driving too fast to avoid the wreck became caught up in the chain-reaction, Sgt. Alex Dinkla told NBC affiliate WHO.
Dinkla said many of the vehicles were commercial trucks
“That’s telling us vehicles are traveling way too fast for the conditions and whenever some incident is happening in front of them, they are traveling too fast and they’re unable to slow down in time,” Dinkla said. “That’s what we see here is the commercial motor vehicle truck traffic just could not get stopped in time and had this chain reaction crash.”
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While two troopers were out of their patrol cars checking on drivers in the initial crash, their patrol cars were added to the mess, one ending up crushed beneath a tanker-style semi-trailer.
“They were actually out of their vehicles, they were trying to assist other motorists to get to safety. In fact, two of the troopers that were involved were escorting some people up a hill (and) one of the vehicles followed them all the way up that hill. They were trying to run for their own safety and to get to a safe location,” Dinkla said.
Several people were seriously injured in the crash, but details were not immediately available.
The two troopers involved were not hurt.