NEW ORLEANS - Police say two men have been killed and 62 people hurt in a 40-vehicle pileup that closed Interstate 10 for hours in eastern New Orleans.
Officer Garry Flot said 25 people were taken to hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical while 37 others refused treatment for minor injuries after the 4 a.m. Thursday pileup. Flot says one firefighter was hurt while working at the scene.
Flot said the dead were identified as the driver of a pickup truck and a 54-year-old passenger in another pickup. The crash occurred on the interstate lanes heading toward the city's business district. Eastbound lanes were restricted to emergency vehicles.
The interstate remained closed in the early afternoon.
Tow truck driver Wesley Ratcliff, who got to the scene not long after it happened, told CBS affiliate WWL-TV: "You just hear all kinds of calls and people screaming for help."
" I've been doing this for 13 years and this is the worst I've ever seen it," Ratcliff said.Authorities said what led to the pileup is still undetermined, but one man involved in the crash told WWL-TV it was a result of extremely poor visibility from either fog or smoke. "When I got out here, there were times when you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you," said another tow truck driver, Keith Johnson. "No way you could've seen this coming, if you were driving through this, you just, boom. You're driving and all of a sudden you're just in the accident."