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Thick fog, speeding factors in I-37 chain-reaction crash

More than 12 vehicles involved in crash on I-37 N. near Old Corpus Christi Road

SAN ANTONIO – Speeding and thick fog set the stage Wednesday for a huge chain-reaction crash on the city's far South Side.

More than a dozen vehicles, including two tractor-trailers, were involved in multiple pileups on Interstate 37 North near Old Corpus Christi Road, police said.

Sgt. George Antu, of the San Antonio Police Department, said the problem started with a two-car crash.

"The accident caused multiple accidents to occur. We had, like, a 15- or 16-car pileup," Antu said.

Drivers not slowing down in the thick fog caused them to crash into other vehicles.

"(The fog was) so dense that when the first accident occurred, everybody started to slow down," Antu said. "But because they were traveling at a high rate of speed, it created a domino effect. One car into another into another."

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Several people were injured, but the severity of their injuries weren't immediately known.

Some drivers pleaded with others to be mindful of the conditions and to slow down.

"Quit driving in this fog so fast. It's really quite simple, honestly," Steve Dowdy, a driver, said. "There are people passing us doing 80-90 mph, just flying, and you couldn't see 50 feet."

Donny Plunkett, who got caught in the pileup, agreed with Dowdy.

"We get this fog, and the visibility is extremely low, and people drive in bad weather the same as they do in good weather," Plunkett said.

Some drivers were lucky and got away with minor damage to their vehicles, but other drivers weren't so fortunate. Their cars were a total loss, leaving them stranded and forcing them to call friends and family to pick them up.

Many drivers said it's a shame their cars were damaged, but they felt fortunate to be walking away without serious injury.

A tow truck driver said he had never seen a crash involving so many vehicles. He had to make multiple trips to remove damaged cars.

The highway was shut down for about three hours.

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