The Missouri State Highway Patrol now says five people died in traffic crashes Sunday during snow storms.
Troopers responded to more than 100 accidents in the Kansas City area, 141 wrecks in mid-Missouri and a total of 650 crashes across the state.
Missourinet media partner KOLR-TV filed the following report on the most massive pileup in the state that took place Sunday afternoon northeast of Springfield:
Sunday’s traffic accident along interstate-44 was one of the biggest incidents ever seen in Marshfield.
Firefighters said they communicated with other departments to prioritize which incidents to respond to first.
“There was multiple people trapped and i seen several entrapments, people walk and wounded,” said Eddie Vasey, at the Conway Volunteer Fire Department.
(Fletcher): “broken arms, head lacerations,” said Captain Rick Fletcher, at the Marshfield Fire Department.
Vasey said their department first responded to the 118 mile marker for many incidents of car wrecks and slide offs, and then went to Marshfield.
“Upon arrival, we found multiple vehicles in the roadway struck, probably about 50 vehicles,” said Vacey.
Vasey said the communication between departments helped them decide which incidents to respond to.
“We have multiple agencies there, checking on different people, so they could tell ic and ic tells us where we need to be,” he said.
There were so many incidents, they had to call the school district to use a school bus to transport people out.
“We had approximately 44 people displaced and put onto the school bus and we brought them to a warm shelter so they can either be picked up by family members or find a means of transportation back to their house,” said Vacey.
Conway fire fighters took engine 11 out there, and had to use “Jaws of life” and cutters to get people out of their cars.
Fletcher said they train all the time on vehicle accidents, but not to this magnitude.
“It was carnage, total carnage, walking through them cars. It’s like what you see in the movies,” said Fletcher.
Conway Volunteer Fire department Chief Fred Savage said overall, the response teams did very well.
“This event was very unique in the fact that none of us have ever seen an accident this broad, 55 or so cars, 25 semis, multitudes of patients and stuff like that,” Savage said.
It took them about 15 hours total to re-open up I-44 Monday morning.
Chief Savage said they’re going to put together a meeting called a “Hot Wash” later this week, and everybody will come together and discuss what happened yesterday, and ways they can improve for future incidents like this.