At 8:45 am Central time on November 22, Interstate 10 near Beaumont, Texas, was a sea of fog with visibilities of less than 10 feet in most cases. With more vehicles traveling down that road than on any other single day during the year, the probability of an incident was high.
Texas Deputy Rod Carroll called the scene he witnessed on Thanksgiving Day the “Thanksgiving Day Nightmare.” More than 140 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup on I-10 Eastbound, an accident that killed two people and has left at least 80 people injured, 10-12 of whom were in critical condition.
The accident happened due to the exceedingly dense fog, which meant that people could not see a situation developing in time to stop and protect themselves. The first crash started a chain reaction, which continued until it slowed traffic enough that people were able to stop before hitting the cars in front of them. some were able to swerve to the median or the shoulder right before hitting the cars in front of them, but many just plowed on in before they even had time to react.
I-10 was closed for eight hours as a result of the incident, causing massive traffic jams that took many hours to clear. Even in light of the massive damage caused by the crash, it is remarkable that more people were not killed and many are thankful they made it out alive.
Carroll, after the incident, said that it was the most haunting, surreal thing he has ever experienced in over 25 years of service as a police officer. He is hopeful that it is a once-in-a-lifetime event.