FORT WORTH, Texas (KETK/AP) – Two of the six people killed in a massive 130-vehicle crash on a Texas interstate back in February were hit after getting out of their own cars, according to a federal government report that was released on Wednesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report from the February 11 wreck that stretched for more than 1,000 feet on I-35.
The wreck was just after 6 a.m. on the icy interstate inside the toll lanes. It had a speed limit of 75 miles per hour and was surrounded by concrete barriers.
Before the crash, the area experienced 36 consecutive hours of below-freezing temperatures, NTSB said. North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners, a private consortium of companies that is responsible for operations and maintenance of the lanes, reported it had pretreated them the morning of Feb. 9 with a de-icing product, the federal agency said.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 11, the group had began displaying the message “ICY CONDITIONS EXIST / PLEASE USE CAUTION” along the lanes.
The NTSB said its investigation is focusing on the road treatment strategies that were used to address the freezing conditions.
Three days after the crash, a winter storm moved into Texas that dropped temperatures below freezing for days more. As the state’s power grid buckled, there were widespread blackouts, leaving some homes without heat, electricity and potable water. Over 100 people died in the storm, many of hypothermia.