At least three people were killed in California early Saturday when as many as 10 vehicles were involved in a crash on Highway 99 in Butte County, according to reports.
The pile-up around 12:30 a.m. involved at least five big rigs as motorists traveled in foggy conditions, FOX 40 of Sacramento reported.
In addition to the fatalities, at least two other people were hospitalized with injuries of varying severity, the station reported.
There was no immediate information available about the identities or ages of any of the victims.
The fog had reduced visibility in the Sacramento Valley area to about a quarter-mile as moisture from Friday rainfall evaporated into low cloud cover, according to FOX 40.
Foggy conditions are seen along Highway 99 in Butte County, Calif., after a multi-vehicle crash early Saturday. (California Highway Patrol-Oroville)
“Fog definitely played a role. It was really low visibility,” California Highway Patrol Officer Benjamin Draper of CHP-Oroville told KCRA-TV of Sacramento. “If someone is driving too fast, and it’s really bad fog, when you can only see as far as … in front of you, we can get incidents like this.”
The highway, which runs north and south in the center of the state, was closed along a 4.7-mile stretch between between Gridley and Biggs as first responders assisted travelers and launched an investigation, state fire authorities said in a Twitter post.
The roadway finally reopened around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, more than 20 hours later, KHSL-TV of Chico reported.
The crash site is about an hour’s drive north of Sacramento.