Fog causes pileups in the Midwest

| 1/12/2005

A 20-car pileup shut down a massive portion of Interstate 80 in both directions Wednesday morning, Jan. 12, in eastern Indiana, media outlets reported.

The accident locked up traffic over a stretch of the highway, and both directions were closed for hours between Indiana Route 15 near Bristol, IN, and I-69 near Angola, IN, The Associated Press reported.

At one point, the backup was serious enough that Ohio Turnpike workers were rerouting drivers at the state line – 40 miles from the accident.

The pileup was reported near Howe, IN, which is about halfway between South Bend and the Ohio state line. But Land Line Senior Technical Editor Paul Abelson, who was in the area, reported that traffic was slow moving or at a dead stop nine miles east of the Ohio state line, even as late as eight hours after the wreck.

Media outlets said the wreck was caused by fog that coated much of the Midwest Wednesday.

A toll booth worker at the state line told Abelson that the highway had just been reopened shortly before he passed through at 5:21 p.m. EST. Traffic picked up quickly after that, Abelson said, and the backup had apparently had enough time to clear.

The Indiana pileup wasn’t the only massive fog-related wreck Wednesday.

Television outlets reported that 60 cars were involved in a chain-reaction wreck near Lansing, MI. WDIV-TV said the wreck occurred near the 116 mile marker on Interstate 96. That wreck was also apparently caused by fog.

Early reports indicated only one fatality was involved in each of the wrecks.