Shortly before 7 a.m. Sunday, December 1, 2013, the temperature in Central Massachusetts dropped, turning precipitation into a freezing rain that created black ice on the elevated section of I-290 West.
In total, 65 vehicles, including two tractor-trailer trucks and two box trucks, were involved in a massive accident. About 60 non-injured people were evacuated from the highway by Worcester Regional Transit Authority buses. Thirty-five people who were injured were taken by ambulance to area hospitals. Two people sustained serious injuries -- a pregnant woman and a man in his mid-30s.
22-year veteran of the state police Sgt. Stephen Marsh said the only reason the massive 65-vehicle pileup stopped after four-tenths of one mile was because people driving along the westbound side of I-290 were finally able to see the crashed vehicles as they began to drive over the crest of the hill near exit 14.
"The people in the cars under the tractor-trailers, by right, they should have been killed," said Marsh. "The cars’ roofs were caved into the steering wheels, the fire department had to cut roofs and doors off. Miraculously these people survived."
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