Smooth ice and dense fog: seriously injured in mass crash on A7



In the case of black ice and dense fog, the driver of a pickup truck on a bridge loses control of his car. The following vehicles have no chance to dodge. Nearly 30 people are injured in the mass crash, several heavy.
The view on the highway is bad, dense fog hangs over the Main bridge at Marktbreit in Lower Franconia. The winter announces itself as the German Weather Service had predicted for this morning: "Spread frost, local smoothness and dense fog".

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Eighteen vehicles, including at least one truck, were involved in the accident.

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

At 7:20 am, according to witnesses, the carriageway on the A7 is smooth on the bridge. A 49-year-old is traveling with his pickup truck. He starts to roll on the slippery asphalt and crashes into the middle barrier – the beginning of a pile-up with 29 injured. Within a few minutes, 17 consecutive vehicles crash into each other, including a truck and several rescuers' rescue cars. A car of the Bavarian Red Cross is expected to be a total loss. A patrol car of the police, who had secured the accident site, is rammed and loses vehicle parts. The drivers could not have seen more than 50 meters, the police say – the fog was so dense.

One of the drivers says at the scene of the accident that the bridge was suddenly so smooth that he could not brake anymore. He had tried to keep his vehicle at least straight so that it did not cross the road. A car is pushed under a truck, a car lies on its side. Farther forward at the scene of the accident, the pickup truck, a trailer and a car pile up one above the other. Emergency physicians and paramedics bring four seriously injured to hospitals. The rescuers cut a trapped woman from the rubble of her car. Even a dog is released from one of the accident vehicles. The four-legged friend is unhurt.

Use takes ten hours

For almost ten hours, the forces clear the accident site, recover the wrecks and investigate. Motorists in the direction of Fulda / Kassel have to drive a detour.
For the meteorologists of the German Weather Service are fog and smooth roads for this time of year "normal", as a spokeswoman for the authority in Munich says. It rained or the air was very humid – so probably in Lower Franconia – and then freeze the wet. The weather service assumes that it can come in the coming nights to smoothness on the roads.

Motorists need to be extra careful – or should leave the car in doubt. According to the ADAC, there is no panacea for proper behavior in lightning ice. Winter tires, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and chains are then no longer helpful, writes the car club on its website. "If the radio is warned of lightning or ice storm, it is better to leave the car and postpone the ride until the spook is over."

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