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Thick fog, not booze, blamed for 35-vehicle pileup after midnight New Year’s Day; more than 50 hurt

More than 50 people were involved in a massive pileup involving 35 cars on New Year’s Day in Austin, reports said. (Austin Fire Department)

More than 50 people were hurt after a massive pileup involving 35 vehicles — including semi trucks — as heavy fog blanketed the road on New Year’s Day morning in Austin, Texas, reports said. There were no fatalities.

The wreck happened on State Highway 130 near Harold Green Road shortly before 1:30 a.m., soon into the new year, as dense fog obscured the road, Travis County Sheriff’s Capt. Craig Smith told the Austin American-Statesmen.

“I have been with the sheriff’s office 26 years, and I have never seen a collision of this size,” Smith said.

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“I have been with the sheriff’s office 26 years, and I have never seen a collision of this size.”

— Craig Smith, Travis County Sheriff’s Captain

One of the first deputies on scene had hit patrol vehicle hit twice because the fog was so thick, Smith told the paper, adding that deputies reported seeing only as far as about 10 feet in front of their cars.

Out of the more than 50 people evaluated for medical care, nine were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Among the those involved in the accidents was Adam Wright Sr. and his wife, who were heading home from a New Year’s Eve party when they drove into the foggy weather, Fox 7 Austin reported.

“And then suddenly, boom, here is a big blanket of fog,” Wright told the station.

Then Wright witnessed an 18-wheel rig plow through nearly a dozen vehicles, Fox 7 reported.

“I was on the outside of the car, I was like (Looks back and forward) Oh, get out of the car get out of the car,” Wright said.

Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crashes, according to the American-Statesman.

“To my surprise, we made no arrests out of this and issued no citations,” Smith told the paper. “They did not find anyone who seemed impaired.”

The fog is being blamed for the crash, but Smith said it’s not known what triggered the first collision, according to Fox 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/us/thick-fog-blanketed-road-in-massive-pileup-involving-35-cars-in-new-years-day-accident-more-than-50-hurt

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