A massive, deadly pileup involving dozens of cars on a snow-covered freeway has killed one person and sent at least five others to the hospital in critical condition, authorities said Monday.
One of the tour buses involved in the crash was transporting cast and crew of “Dancing with the Stars: Live! Light Up the Night.”
The bus was en route to Stephens Auditorium in Ames. All the cast and crew members are fine, with some recovering from minor injuries.
Officials said in a press release Monday that, “Given this unforeseen accident, and the fact that the safety and health of our cast and crew is of utmost importance, tonight’s show at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa has been (canceled).
“To anyone involved in the accident, the entire cast sends their best wishes for a speedy recovery, and their deepest apologies to all of the fans who have been waiting to see the show tonight.”
Information regarding rescheduling and/or refunds will be available soon.
Officials with the Story County Sheriff’s Department said the crash, which involved as many as 70 cars, is the worst they’ve ever seen. The last time Des Moines saw more than 3 inches of snow was on Dec. 28, 2015, according to records.
Authorities closed part of Interstate 35 between 13th Street and U.S. 30 near Ames on Monday after the dozens of vehicles collided on the snow-covered pavement. Officials said the wrecks were caused, in part, by drivers trying to enter the freeway and crashing into existing accidents.
While the southbound lanes were closed due to multiple accidents, the northbound lanes were open to allow emergency response vehicles to rescue those stranded on the freeway.
“It’s a mess. They’re trying to get everyone to slow down,” Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said.
Crashes also have at least briefly forced the closure of other roads in Iowa, including U.S. Highway 30 near Grand Junction and Interstate 80 in Clive.
The snowstorm has forced numerous delays and cancellations at the Des Moines International Airport. Check your latest flight status here.
Officials are advising drivers to use extreme caution when traveling on the snow-covered roads. Be prepared for blowing snow and limited visibility. To check the latest road conditions, go to 511ia.org.
In eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids police said two people died in a single vehicle crash Monday.
Police said it happened about 11:20 a.m. on northbound Interstate 380 just past the U.S. 30 Exit. They said a car with three adult male occupants left the roadway and struck a pillar support of a bridge overpass.
Authorities pronounced two of the occupants dead at the scene. Emergency crews took the third man to a hospital with serious injuries.
Police have not yet released the names of the men.
A winter weather advisory was put into effect until 7 p.m. Monday, which means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties.
Light to moderate snow will continue to fall over much of central and southern portions of the state as drier air brings the snow to an end over far north central and northwestern Iowa, according to the National Weather Service in Des Moines.
The snow will end between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. along a line stretching from Waterloo to Des Moines to Creston, and the snow will end over the rest of central Iowa by mid-evening.
Monday night will have some lingering evening flurries or snow showers with partly cloudy skies. Lows will dip just below zero, and winds will be at 5-10 mph from the east-northeast.
Early Tuesday will be partly cloudy with some snow showers later in the day. Highs will reach the mid-teens, and there could be a chance of snow accumulations of less than 1 inch. Later that night, there will be snow showers before midnight, but total accumulations are expected to be less than 1 inch.
The next chance for snow could arrive late in the work week.
Stay tuned to KCCI-TV, kcci.com or our mobile app for the latest updates.
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