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NTSB Investigators Arrive in Fort Worth, as Probe of Deadly I-35W Pileup Continues


Two investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived in Fort Worth, Texas, yesterday, as the probe into last month’s deadly pile-up along I-35 West kicks into high gear.

According to the agency, the investigators will be in the area for several days to conduct interviews with some of the people involved in the crash.

133-Vehicle Pileup Near Fort Worth Left 6 Dead, Dozens Injured

The February 11th accident occurred shortly before 6:30 a.m., as a massive winter storm brought sleet and freezing rain to much of the Dallas-Fort Worth MetroPlex. A total of 133 vehicles – including a FedEx truck and more than a dozen 18-wheelers – were involved in the wreck.

Six people were tragically killed as a result of the crash, and dozens of others were injured.

While it’s still unclear exactly what triggered the pile-up, a video shows the FedEx 18-wheeler losing control on a downhill slope. The semi-truck hit a barrier before slamming into multiple other vehicles, crushing one and flipping two. Cars, pickup trucks, and 18-wheelers then began crashing into the FedEx truck and each other.

Some motorists calling 911 in the aftermath of the accident reported they had hit slick patches of ice on the TexPress lanes of I-35W, just north of downtown Fort Worth.

“I don’t know what happened. I just…I hit a patch of ice, I guess. Airbag hit me in the face pretty hard,” one caller said. “There were other cars. It looks like they had wrecked, as well. I think I hit one of them.

NTSB I-35W Crash Investigation Focused on Road Treatment Procedures

The NTSB opened its crash investigation on February 16th.

Among other things, the agency is looking into road treatment procedures for snow and ice, including what treatments were used, when they were applied, and any guidance, policy, or procedures relating to the treatments. The NTSB is coordinating the probe Texas Department of Transportation and the North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners.

North Tarrant express built and manages the I-35 toll lanes where the crash occurred. According to the company, crews had been “spot treating” the entire I-35 corridor the morning of the accident

The NTSB is expected to publish its preliminary report on the accident within the next few weeks.

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