Video of pileup on I35 in Iowa

As many as 70 cars collided on the snow-covered freeway, and Dana Easter, 53, of Independence, Missouri, was killed.

Authorities reported that several other people were taken to the hospital.

Officials with the Story County Sheriff’s Department said that the crash is the worst they’ve ever seen.

(my note) From what I could see, 90% of the cars were traveling much too fast for the conditions. When will we learn…

Sadly even if we DO learn, many will forget season to season. Unfortunate tragedy.

Apparently not only was the road very slippery, but the visibility was low, as I could not see any brake lights. Worse possible conditions, yet cars, and even a bus, were driving at what seemed like at least 50 MPH.

We had the same road, and weather, in the 1960s. What would have been the death toll?

I thought 90% of the vehicles were not driving too fast for conditions. The right lane was clear to the pavement, the left snow covered but passable. The only real idiot I see was the tour bus driver. Most of the drivers stopped without hitting anything and two of the tractor trailer drivers who couldn’t, took their rigs off the road rather than plow into the stopped cars.

A matter of opinion. I’d be driving at 20 MPH if I were out in those conditions.

The fact that the accident occurred with so many vehicles indicates, to me, that most were driving too fast. Sure some truckers took their vehicles off to the right. But look at how many cars pulled into the passing lane and sped up when the cars in front of them slowed down.

Another indicator is that visibility appeared very low. Seemed good from the camera’s viewpoint, but worse at road level. As indicated by the fact that many vehicles did not start to slow down until very close to the jam, ie, they could not see the brake lights in front of them until they were too close to stop.

Just because you are a reasonable, thoughtful adult doesn’t mean everyone else is. A couple days ago on my way to work at about 5:30am, I was passed by a couple of vehicles going at least 10 mph over the speed limit. I think one must ave been going about 30 over. There was black ice on the road in my neighborhood, and while these go-fast guys were on a treated highway, there is no telling what might happen on an overpass.

I dunno, looked like a pretty normal pile up to me. A little foggy but the camera could see fine. If you aren’t watching what’s going on ahead of you, you can be surprised at stopped traffic where it shouldn’t be.

They had a 2-300 car pile up like that in Minneapolis around 1975. A guy I knew was in it and he said all of a sudden the truck drivers from the opposite direction were flashing their lights as a warning. So he avoided hitting or getting hit.

One thing though, you never want to be the last car with no protection. Better to have a semi stopped behind you to block folks that are half asleep.

No…I’ve seen a few major pileups. You get white-out conditions and it’s easy to cause a pileup.

Boston is the only area where I’ve seen a 40 car pileup where it was sunny and 75 degrees.

Impressive threading the needle by those last 2 rigs, though I think the 2nd one did clip some cars with his trailer…still better than the idiots after who plowed into the biggest pile of wreckage at high speed

Sorry to be so negative, but I’ve had two replies that thought the drivers in the video were NOT moving too fast for conditions.

I guess that explains why so many of these multi-car pileups happen. But it can be prevented if drivers would just slow down when conditions get bad.

I’ve driven in bad conditions many times, and I always slow down and move to the right lane (and prepared to move to the breakdown lane and stop at any time) and watched cars going by at 70 MPH in bad conditions.

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The fact that they were not able to stopwithout hitting the stopped vehicles–is sufficient evidence that they were driving too fast for conditions.


What really astounded me was the idiot who was out of his vehicle and playing dodge ball with the oncoming traffic. I would have been running into the ditch and field beside the highway like Usain Bolt.

I do remember one morning years ago in very slick road conditions. About a four lane road and I was going maybe 30, and there was an accident blocking the right lanes. There was also a car on the left shoulder and that gave me one narrow lane to get by on. Stopping was not possible at that point. So what did the driver on the shoulder do? Opened the right door into the traffic lane and started to get out. I missed her but it was a really stupid thing to do. I had a passenger with me and she was kind of white after that but it was just another day in the city on bad roads. Stay in your car.

Some years ago, I was driving my 2002 Sienna. We went north on I-35, then in Des Moines turned east on I-80. The roadway was slippery, but not extremely so. I could see cars ahead had their brake lights on, but no visible clue to their velocity. I learned to drive on ice and snow, or I didn’t get to drive. So, I got stopped in time, but it was slippery enough I had to pump the brakes.

But, quite a distance behind I could see lots of cars coming in a group. So, I did what we do in Mexico when we slow down on the highway. Put on my blinkers. Almost instantly I could see all those cars drop their front ends and there were no more close calls at all. Apparently everyone took blinkers as a visual velocity clue. :smiley:

good point. I would turn my blinkers on in a similar situation, and have done that many times. On the video, I could not see any blinkers. Nor brake lights, so the visibility was really bad.

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Why were the 2 semi’s which went off the right side going so fast? They were certainly listening to the CB radio which was screaming to “shut it down”.
20 years ago when i lived in the Midwest, I used a portable CB in bad conditions. Several times, I could exit the interstate and avoid a mess.

Bill Russel - If you would slow to 20 on an interstate where the right lane is clear to the pavement you would be the reason all the cars would have to swerve into the snow covered lane to pass you. Those are fairly good road conditions in upstate NY and yet people regularly make 500-600 mile road trips every day. As a matter of fact, they do it in conditions a lot worse than that.

Driving 20 mph on an interstate is dangerous, if you can;t do at least 40, get off the road before you get run over. You are creating a speed differential of 50 mph with the traffic behind you.