Up to 50 vehicles involved in Wisconsin pileup amid whiteout conditions
At least two dozen were injured in the chain-reaction crash on Friday as bursts of heavy snowfall dropped visibility to less than a quarter mile.
A multi-vehicle pileup has shut down Interstate 39/90 in both directions between Beloit and Janesville in Rock County, Wisconsin, on Friday. (Wisconsin DOT)
Dozens of vehicles were involved in a pileup on Interstates-39/90 between Janesville and Beloit, Wisconsin, on Friday, Jan. 27, amid heavy snowfall in the area.
The Beloit Memorial Hospital confirmed it had received at least 27 patients from the crash, according to WISN 12 News.
The crash occurred around 12:30 p.m. local time near mile marker 181, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Nearby, the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport had reported heavy snow with low visibility of 0.12 miles at 12:13 p.m. and again around 12:35 p.m., local time.
In addition, a staffer at the communication center had described the conditions in the area as "a total whiteout" at the time of the crash.
Rock County officials said there had been reports of 20-50 vehicles that may have been involved in the crash, according to NBC15 News. Videos posted to social media showed flames and heavy smoke emanating from the crash site.
AccuWeather forecasters warned of localized snow squalls across the Midwest and into the eastern United States into Friday morning. The brief but quick-hitting event is a period of moderate to heavy snowfall, accompanied by gusty surface winds that result in reduced visibility and whiteout conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
Wisconsin State Patrol said that whiteout conditions caused by falling snow are believed to have been a factor in the initial crash.
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