Update: Massive Car Pile Up On I-40 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Update: Massive Car Pile Up On I-40

One person is dead and two people have life threatening injuries tonight after a massive pile up on I-40. 
  
The highway is reopen now, after being closed for 8-hours.

The massive car pile up involved almost 80 vehicles, 17 of which were semi tractor trailers. Police say several people had to be cut out of their cars because they were pinned beneath the trailers. They were sent to a local hospital. 
 
"18 people were transported to Northwest Texas, five of them critical and one fatality," said Captain Bob Johnson of the Amarillo Fire Department.

Two of those with life threatening injuries. Johnson says they also treated 30 walking wounded who were sent to the rick husband international airport for medical attention.

"It gets them out of the cold and gets them all in one spot. A lot of times in an incident like this you have people wondering around. Their out of their cars with no place to go. We want to get them together in one spot and find out if they're injured and get them transportation, " said Johnson.
  
The American Red Cross Panhandle Chapter was on also on hand to provide assistance. 

"Provide snacks, water, get an action plan together, see if they were going to a motel or with family members." said Vicky Richmond of the Red Cross.

They tell us most people were  visibly shaken up and just wanted to get home for the holidays.

"Most of them handled it well, they were worried about where they were going to stay, and money. They just were concerned about getting to their holiday destination and we helped them with that," said Richmond. 

Officials say several people involved in the accident opened up Christmas gifts from the demolished vehicles and gave clothes to children and victims to keep them warm in the 23 degree temperatures and the 40 mph wind gusts. Police say the accident was caused by a semi driver who lost control because of slick roads and limited visibility. Even though the highway is now open again. Officials are still reminding drivers to take it slow on these icy roads.

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