- Associated Press - Thursday, November 22, 2012

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — Two people died and more than 80 people were hurt Thursday when at least 100 vehicles collided in Southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.

The collision occurred in extremely foggy conditions at about 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston.

A man and a woman were killed in a Chevy Suburban sport-utility vehicle crushed by a tractor trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety told KFDM-TV.

Officials at Acadian Ambulance service said at least 51 people have been taken to area hospitals and at least eight are critically hurt.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the pileup began, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Carroll told The Associated Press the fog was so thick that deputies didn’t immediately realize they were dealing with multiple accidents.

“It is catastrophic,” Deputy Carroll said. “I’ve got cars on top of cars.”

I-10’s eastbound lanes remained closed for most of Thursday.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Stephanie Davis told KFDM that two people in an SUV died after the crash. She said at least 100 cars and trucks were involved in the accident.

Deputy Carroll said uninjured drivers tried to help as authorities sorted through the wreckage.

“It’s just people helping people,” Deputy Carroll said. “The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other travelers were helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on people that were injured.”

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