HUXLEY, Iowa — It happened again. On Saturday morning around 10:15 a.m., there was a 70-vehicle pileup in the southbound lane of Interstate 35.
“It boggles your mind, it happened again, and you just think, you know, how many people are hurt this time?’” said State Patrol Spokesman Nathan Ludwig.
Just 12 miles and 12 days separate Saturday morning’s pileup from the one that happened just south of Ames on Monday the 5th.
“Just a quick little blast of Iowa winter weather came through here, and I think what happened was drivers were traveling too fast for conditions and they’re driving right behind the car in front of them…again,” said Sgt. Ludwig.
Police say 11 people were treated for injuries, but nobody was killed in the crash. One man was life-flighted with a broken arm, as medics were concerned about the possibility of nerve damage.
One woman involved in the crash described what happened.
“I was just coming down and I had, like, three car lengths of space in front of me and this other guy because it wasn’t slick, but it could have been. I saw a white SUV do a ‘U’ right in front of him, and I was like, ‘oh crap, I better slow down,’ but it was already too late because there were already three cars that had gone off the road. So I tried to curve my car to the other side of the road and I scrapped half the car and then spun back into everybody else,” said Erika DeSmidt.
DeSmidt says she was lucky to be uninjured, though her car isn’t as lucky.
“It’s totaled, I’ve got a wheel that’s, like, sideways, my whole front end’s missing…I had to kick my way out of my door,” she said.
DeSmidt hoped drivers had learned their lesson from the pileup nearly two weeks ago, but says apparently that wasn’t the case.
“I just think people need to be aware that when it starts to snow and you can’t see very well, maybe don’t do the speed limit? A lot of things happen when someone tries to over-correct their car and then they just end up spinning out, and it’s not their fault, but maybe it could have been prevented, and the rest of us obviously can’t really do anything because we can’t slam on our breaks in the snow,” she said.
Police say it took about two and a half hours to re-open the interstate.