JASPER COUNTY, IOWA — Two Iowa State Patrol vehicles were involved in a massive pileup in Jasper County on Thursday, but neither trooper was injured. Nearly 40 vehicles were involved in the pileup – most of them semi-trucks that were driving too fast for the conditions, according to the State Patrol.
The crash happened in the eastbound lanes on Interstate 80 just West of Newton just before Noon. Sergeant Alex Dinkla with the Iowa State Patrol says the roadway suddenly turned into a sheet of ice as a blizzard blew across the area. That lead to a chain reaction crash involving “almost 40 vehicles”, according to the State Patrol, including two of their own.
One trooper’s car was left crushed beneath a tanker-style semi-trailer. Another trooper’s vehicle also suffered serious damage, apparently from being struck from behind. Neither trooper was injured when their vehicles were hit. Both were out assisting drivers of other crashed vehicles at the time. ISP reports there were multiple injuries to other drivers, including some taken from the scene in serious condition. No other information about those involved in the crash has been released.
Sergeant Dinkla says the majority of the vehicles involved in the crash on I-80 and around the state on Thursday during the blizzard were commercial trucks. “That’s telling us vehicles are traveling way too fast for the conditions and whenever some incident is happening in front of them, they are traveling too fast and they’re unable to slow down in time,” says Dinkla, “That’s what we see here is the commercial motor vehicle truck traffic just could not get stopped in time and had this chain reaction crash.”
Trooper Jon Stickney said the road conditions turned trucks into “80,000 pound sleds” and that “no driver in this world can stop an 80,000 pound sled on the highway”.
Interstate 80 remains closed East of Des Moines as of Thursday evening.