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Deadly pile-ups trigger memories of other traffic tragedies

Last week, we wrote in this space about the horrific series of car and truck accidents on an interstate highway far from us here in La Crosse.

That Florida tragedy is still being talked about by folks down there and across the nation. The Washington Post recently ran a brief article reminding people of other terrible crashes over the past 25 years on our nation's highways.

  • In early October of 1985, eight people were killed and more than 40 injured in a chain-reaction of accidents on an interstate highway near Sacramento, California. As in the recent Florida crashes, dense smoke was to blame for poor visibility that resulted in crashes including 33 vehicles.
  • Just three months later, eight people died and 18 were injured when 27 cars and trucks were in a series of collisions on an interstate highway in Marion, Arkansas. The highway is right across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
  • In December, 1990, 12 were left dead after a horrific 83-vehicle smash-up on a Tennessee interstate.
  • A year later, on the day after Thanksgiving, 17 people perished in a dust storm on a California interstate. Ninety-three cars and 11 tractor-trailers were involved.
  • In July, 1993, nine died in a seven-vehicle crash near Bakersfield, California. Two big rigs were involved.
  • Four years later, eight motorists died in an interstate highway crash involving an 18-wheeler, a car and a minivan. The crash was near Emporia, Virginia.
  • In January, 2000, 10 more died when five tractor-trailers and 19 cars were in a pile-up on an icy stretch of a Kansas City interstate.
  • In October of 2002, another 10 died, and 36 more were injured, when more than two dozen vehicles were in a violent series of crashes about 200 miles east of us in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.

Source: Washington Post: "Glance: Some of the deadliest US highway pileups since 1985," Jan. 30, 2012

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