Updated at 11:09 a.m. PST
PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) — A pileup involving dozens of vehicles left more than 50 people hurt, four critically, as fog and smoke washed over a Southeast Texas highway early Thursday, officials said.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Carroll said at least 50 vehicles crashed but that nobody died in the chain-reaction collisions around 5:45 a.m. on Highway 73, five miles west of Port Arthur.
“Thank God it was before the school buses started running,” Carroll said.
Many of the 54 victims were treated for injuries including broken bones, abrasions and trauma, and one man suffered a heart attack, Carroll said.
Early morning fog combined with smoke from recent marsh fires contributed to the crashes, the deputy said.
“Those two mixed to make zero visibility,” Carroll said by phone as he surveyed the scene. Authorities closed a stretch of the highway about 80 miles east of Houston following the pileup but reopened it late morning, he said.
Hazardous materials crews helped clean up the scene.