Wisconsin officials have released a video footage showing a deadly pile-up involving 131 cars, a collision that many see as "the most serious traffic accident in the history of the state".
Videos and photos from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office show Interstate 41 heading south, near Neehah, in a stalemate under whiteout conditions Sunday. Sheriff John Matz said that a chain reaction had left some vehicles "totally lost and impossible to drive."
Andrew Schefelker, a 30-year-old science teacher, was killed in the accident and 71 others injured were taken to nearby hospitals. Matz said the first responders had implemented a "massive loss treatment program" following the pileup.
& # 39; ICE TSUNAMI & # 39; SPEAKED BY WINDSTORM SPURS EVACUATIONS ON LAKE ERIE, LIKE THOUSANDS OF POWER-FREE POWERS IN THE EAST
During a seven-hour Sunday, the sheriff's office reported receiving 772 911 calls, "resulting in 108 service calls".
Two of the women who claimed to be involved in the pileup told Fox's affiliate, WMSN-TV, that they "were a sitting duck" while waiting for help to arrive.
"We came to the corner and it was just a wall of white snow, you could not see five feet in front of you," Nicole Adrian told the TV channel. Susan Brugger added that they were on the phone with emergency officials when they were hit.
THE DRAMATIC PILLAR OF 47 CARS IN MISSOURI Leaves at least one dead
"A half-knife was sent and probably sent us about 50 feet, and everyone juggled a bit," Adrian said. "You can see that we were raised in the air, and there was a car that was under our hindquarters behind us, there was no way out."
Brugger added that first responders used the "jaws of life" to save them from the car. A firefighter shouted, "There are two people here and they are still alive." It was for Brugger "a surreal moment" that she will not forget anytime soon.
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Wisconsin state soldier Chris Splinter told the news channel that the whiteout conditions observed on Interstate 41 on Sunday were common for this time of year.
"The vehicles coming behind them can not stop fast enough because they follow too close or go too fast for the conditions, then they start piling up against each other", said Splinter. "It's almost like they were in a wall of cars, as they were crossing whiteout conditions."