One killed, at least 8 injured in fatal multi-vehicle crash on I-10, caused by ‘super fog’

One killed, at least 8 injured in fatal multi-vehicle crash on I-10, caused by ‘super fog’

Early morning fog and smoke from a swamp fire burning in eastern New Orleans caused almost zero visibility on Interstate 10 between Irish Bayou and Michoud.

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City entities say they are working on ways to better respond and prepare for dense fog after another foggy morning Tuesday that led to multiple crashes and one death.

At some points early Tuesday morning, drivers on I-10 could barely see anything ahead of them. Fog and smoke covered the highway. NOPD responded to multiple incidents starting around 4:30 a.m

“When the officers were responding, it went from you could see to you couldn’t see at all. Listening to the incident and driving from far away, it was chaotic,” said Wayne DeLarge, commander of the New York Police Department’s 7th District.

NOPD says there have been at least 4 separate incidents, involving at least 11 vehicles. One man was killed and at least eight others were injured. An 18-wheeler overturns.

NOPD eventually closed I-10 in both directions and diverted traffic at Read and Irish Bayou for hours.

The Department of Transportation says there are signs along I-10 warning drivers of these conditions, but they say they usually don’t close roads due to fog. DOTD says fog can cover a large area for a long time, plus road closures require a lot of cooperation.

“Closing a highway typically requires dozens of DOT employees, hundreds, if not more, of traffic control devices like cones and drums, as well as law enforcement. The primary consideration is when we close a road, where are we going to do our work?” Scott Boyle said. Louisiana DOTD District Engineer Director: “A turning point.”

DOTD says law enforcement has the authority to close the road and monitor the area and conditions. But on Tuesday, NOPD said they were not aware of the circumstances until they responded to the incidents. NOPD says they’re working on figuring out vest practices to help during fog, but it’s not that simple.

“There needs to be a more detailed plan than putting a police officer there and slowing people down,” DeLarge said.

The agencies suggest that drivers slow down, use low beams, and increase the distance between themselves and the car in front of them, during foggy conditions.

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