At about 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, heavy snow blanked I-35 near Ames, Iowa and set in motion a mammoth pileup that would eventually involve at least 70 vehicles, cause the death of one person and serious injuries to several more. It wouldn’t be until about six hours later that the wreckage would be cleared and the interstate reopened. This Iowa DOT traffic camera caught the pileup as it started and what transpired.
At about the 3:35 mark, a tractor trailer enters the picture from the bottom left portion of the screen. Somehow, the driver of the truck — that is headed for dozens of stopped vehicles and people standing in the highway — threads the needle and manages to miss them all. About 10 seconds later comes another truck.
The Des Moines Register published a detailed insider’s account of the pileup. The article ends with some good advice: “It’s Iowa. It’s winter. Slow down.”