Watch: Massive pileup in Iowa kills 1, hurts 5 others - WNEM TV 5

Watch: Massive pileup in Iowa kills 1, hurts 5 others

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CBS -

Just released video from the Iowa Department of Transportation camera shows the horror of a massive pileup Monday afternoon as trucks, SUVs and cars slammed into each other on Interstate 35.

Once the first vehicles crashed, there was no room for other cars to stop or get out of the way.

One by one they kept coming - and kept crashing. The camera is mounted on the Lincoln Way Bridge over the southbound lanes.

Dana Easter, 53, may have had a heart attack when his tour bus crashed near the back of the huge accident. Most drivers had to abandon their wrecked cars and others spent hours stuck in the crash.

The video does not show the bus in which the driver died. It is out of camera range.

 “You just have to wonder why people travel so fast when they can't see what’s in front of them,” said Sgt. Nathan Ludwig with Iowa State Patrol.

State patrol investigators said the snow was coming down too hard and caused whiteout conditions. It’s a time for drivers to take precautions, but did they?

 “The majority of the accidents that are happening yesterday were because of those two things, traveling too fast and traveling to close to the car in front of you and not leaving an out to be able to stop,” Ludwig said.

Lindsay Hernandez from Iowa Falls said her family’s minivan was damaged in the crash.

“I tried stopping and it was just a sheet of ice, God protected us. Thank God for that,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez was trapped for several hours. Eventually, buses collected 33 stranded motorists and brought them to shelter at Ames City Hall. They all found hotels and rental cars.

The Story County Sheriff’s Office said drivers should be prepared for winter conditions, because it’s impossible to predict this kind danger.

“We just tell people to be prepared. Make sure you have water bottles, cell phone that's charged and a cable with you so you can call for help if need be. Warm clothes, just all the things that make sense during winter driving conditions in case you get stranded,” Capt. Barry Thomas said.

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