‘If you don’t have to get out, please don’t get out,’ Fort Worth fire spokesman says
Thin sheets of ice are making for dangerous travel on North Texas roads and highways Thursday morning with at least three people confirmed to have died overnight in Dallas and dozens of people trapped in their cars in Fort Worth.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 12 p.m. Thursday for much of the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Dozens of North Texas school districts are either closed, opening late or going to virtual learning Thursday due to the possibility of dangerous roads.
A “mass casualty incident” is unfolding on Interstate 35W just north of downtown Fort Worth, where dozens of vehicles collided and left drivers trapped, firefighters say.
Mike Drivdahl with the Fort Worth Fire Department said firefighters are going car-to-car, looking for people in need of medical care.
Preliminary details are unfolding and it is not yet known how many people have been hurt. Drivdahl said it will “take a lot of time” to clear the damage.
“If you don’t have to get out, please don’t get out,” Drivdahl said in a live phone interview on NBC 5. “We have a lot of emergency crews doing a lot of work. The last thing we need is people who don’t need to be out getting into any type of accidents.”
Crews are dealing with slippery conditions and using anything they can — sand, salt and kitty litter — to melt the ice as they triage patients injured in the crash, Drivdahl said.
A picture taken from the scene and shared on social media showed several 18-wheelers twisted in the wreckage.
In Dallas, one person died in a multi-vehicle pileup at about 11:17 p.m. on southbound Interstate 45 at Lamar Street, police said.
Shortly before 1 a.m., two people were killed and a third was hospitalized in critical condition after a crash along Interstate 45 at Illinois Avenue, police said.
Further information was not immediately available.
Police say there have been multiple crashes reported overnight, with some involving serious injuries and damage to city vehicles.
By 7:30 a.m. in Arlington, emergency crews have responded to a total of 82 crashes since 10 p.m., a police spokesman said.
Most of the crashes have occurred on bridges and overpasses where people are driving too fast for the weather conditions, the spokesman said.