1 dead after 25-car pileup on I-35 near Des Moines

6:18 PM, Dec 20, 2012   |    comments
  • Image courtesy Iowa State Patrol
  • Image courtesy Iowa State Patrol
  • Image courtesy Iowa State Patrol
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WILLIAMS, Iowa - One person is dead following a 25-car pileup on Interstate 35 near Williams, the Iowa State Patrol said.

Williams is about 60 miles north of Des Moines, and 90 miles south of Albert Lea.

The accident, caused by whiteout conditions, has blocked the southbound lane near mile-marker 150, about eight miles north U.S. Highway 20.

Iowa's Department of Public Safety says preliminary information indicates that due to near zero visibility, drivers were unable to see vehicles that had either slowed or stopped on the Interstate. A chain reaction of crashes then ensued.

So far one person has died as a result of the crash. The roadway remains blocked and Troopers will work this investigation for several hours.

Elsewhere, the Iowa Department of Transportation has activated its road closure gate systems at the I-35 southbound/U.S. 18 interchange. The gate arms are down.

Southbound I-35 travelers must exit at U.S. 18. Traveler services are available at the nearby U.S. 18 exits into Clear Lake and Mason City. This closure is due to a multiple vehicle accident and emergency response activities.

Across the state, Interstates 80 and 35 are blocked at several locations because of accidents. Jack-knifed trailers could block roads for several hours, officials said.

On Interstate 80, all lines are blocked near Grinnell because of a jackknifed trailer; and the westbound lane between exits 220 and 225 near Williamsburg is blocked due to several accidents.

In Missouri, Interstate 29 is closed from the Iowa border to St. Joseph, Mo.

Truck stops off of interstates in Iowa filled with stranded drivers today.

"It will be a long day," one truck driver from Minneapolis said at the Boss Truck Shop off Highway I-80 in Altoona. "Until the wind calms down a bit, it's just not worth the cost to be out there. You'll probably end up in the ditch or something,"

Exits at the Interstate Highway 35/80 interchange on Douglas Avenue are closed due to cars and tow trucks stuck in the snow, Urbandale police said.

(Copyright 2012 by The Des Moines Register. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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