5 Answers From the NTSB Report on the 130+-Car Fort Worth Pile-Up
On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report, concerning the ongoing investigation into the February 11, 2021 crash on I-35W in Fort Worth, TX. The crash involved more than 130 vehicles, claimed 6 lives, and sent nearly 3 dozen people to the hospital. While the investigation continues, the preliminary report answers some questions from the crash. Here’s what the public learned:
- 2 of the 6 people fatality victims died outside of their vehicles.
- NTSB confirmed that the roads crews pre-treated the roadways roughly 42 hours before the crash.
- A prior crash occurred just 30 minutes before the massive pile-up, 5 miles north of the larger crash site. This crash alerted authorities that icy conditions existed.
- Authorities put a warning on message highway signs that read, “ICY CONDITIONS EXIST / PLEASE USE CAUTION.”
- Weather stations in the area reported freezing rain and mist 4 hours prior to the crash.
The NTSB did not indicate when it will release its final report, which likely will not be any time soon. That report should address issues that the preliminary report did not; these include, the sequence of events, which led to the crash; whether or not road design contributed to the crash; or if there was a short-coming in road treatment procedures. While the public doesn’t have answers to the big questions surrounding the Fort Worth pile-up, it knows more today than it did before the report.