10-Car Pileup Takes the Lives of Two 12/8/13
CBS 7 News
December 8, 2013
Reeves County-Icey road conditions are to blame for the 10-car pileup that shut down part of Interstate-10 for more than 24-hours and claimed the lives of two people.
The drive from Pecos to Balmorhea was filled with accident, after accident caused by the icy roads.
But it was the 10-car pileup that changed the lives of many, including Kerry Powell and his wife, who were just one of the several truck drivers involved.
"Everybody just started sliding, and it just led from one thing to another," said Powell.
Powell says it took just one truck to lose control on the very slick roads to start a deadly chain reaction.
"It was all because of the road being just a solid sheet of ice," said Powell.
Powell and his wife were driving down the hill on Interstate-10 when they saw several trailers and trucks, which had crashed, blocking all lanes, forcing them to swerve off the road, and hit the side of another trailer that was already in the ditch.
"If my wife hadn't done what she did, we would've hit that truck, that flat bed, head on, and it would've killed us both," said Powell.
Once Powell got out from his truck, he says the scene was chaotic. People were running everywhere, trying to help those who were injured, including a pickup truck that had caught on fire.
"There was 10 of us that got our fire extinguishers out of our tractors and they didn't do any good," said Powell.
No one was prepared for what was about to happen next.
"We could hear her screaming, and one the drivers got to her hand, and tried to get her out, but she was pinned inside of the truck, and by that time the flames and the fire were so hot, nobody could do anything for her," said Powell.
Cheryl Steverson and her 87-year old mother were about a mile behind from the pileup. Steverson says she was just one of hundreds who were stuck for over 9-hours on the road.
"I pulled over a cop, and I said I heard it (the shutdown) was going to be all night, and I told him mom was with us, and they said we’ll make room for you to turn around, and go back to Fort Stockton,” said Steverson.
Steverson's cousin was driving behind them, and ran into another truck during the slow down.
First responders from all over the surrounding areas had been called out to assist with the pile up, but kept having to stop and render aid to dozens of other crashes caused by the icey roads along the way.
DPS Officials say for now the roads are no longer icy and an investigation is still ongoing on this tragic 10-car pileup.
Be sure to stay with CBS 7 as more details come available.