New Orleans recently experienced what’s called a “super fog.” According to the Associated Press, this is when fog mixes with smoke — in this case, smoke from nearby marsh fires — to turn the air nearly opaque.
Understandably, experiencing a super fog can be both terrifying and dangerous, especially behind the wheel of a car. This was quickly made clear to drivers on Interstate 55, who experienced a massive pileup due to the fog.
A TikTok from the scene demonstrates just how bad things got:
@kia_is_seaux_fit Superfog in New Orleans and surrounding areas. Caused hundreds of vehicles to crash. Parts of I-55 and I-1 or shutdown. At least two fatalities. Praying for everyone involved! Video credit: Clarencia Patterson Reed #Superfog #Viral #interstate10 #vehiclepileup #crash #fatality ♬ original sound - NOLA Diva Kia
The video shows a series of cars lined up on the highway. Many of them have been smashed or burned; some people are outside of their vehicles, clearly shaken from what has just occurred.
Per the AP, “An estimated 158 vehicles were involved and 25 people injured, according to the Louisiana State Police, who warned the death toll could climb as first responders worked into the night looking for victims, the smell of burnt wreckage still heavy in the air.”
“Three of the semis became engulfed in flames, with fire spreading to other vehicles. Meanwhile, another multi-car chain reaction accident blocked southbound lanes,” notes a piece in Fox Weather. The same piece states that one vehicle was also pushed off of the highway completely; the driver and passengers were injured but survived.
The Louisiana State Police posted photos of the pileup after the fog cleared, revealing a chaotic scene.
@accuweather Around 100 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup caused by superfog on I-55 outside of New Orleans on Monday. At least two people were killed and more than two dozen others were injured. #breaking #breakingnews #news #todaynews #newstoday #neworleans #nola #lawx #crash #travel #i55 #weather #fog #foggy #instaweather #fyp #foryoupage #usnews #accident #pileup #superfog #newstiktok ♬ original sound - AccuWeather
According to Fox Weather, “Authorities said that a dozen agencies were called in to assist and crews have even been called in on their days off.”
The Louisiana State Police reported that "I-55 is expected to be closed for the foreseeable future" as they work to clear the road and identify the causes for some of these accidents.
@celebrity28898 Tragic ‘Super Frog’ Pileup Claims Lives on Louisiana Highway #news #foryou #superfrog #lousiana ♬ original sound - Celebrity
The National Weather Service explains that there are precautions one can take to try to lower the risk of driving in fog. However, in dense fog situations like these, the agency advises that “the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.”
In other words, when fog like this rolls in, you should get the heck off the road altogether.