NEW ORLEANS — A gravel truck hit a small car and plunged from a fog-shrouded Interstate 10 bridge on Saturday, killing the truck driver and three people in the car and setting off a 36-vehicle series of crashes, authorities said.
Area hospitals said they treated 35 people hurt in that accident as well as in a separate 13-vehicle pileup on the other side of the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain.
Both accidents occurred just before 8 a.m., after a heavy fog developed suddenly over the bridge, New Orleans police spokesman David Adams said. The accidents were also sparked when a truck hit a car in the heavy fog.
In the first accident, a small car slowed down because of the fog and was rear-ended by an 18-wheel dump truck, which then hit a guardrail, jackknifed and plunged into the lake, Adams said.
In the second accident, Adams said, another 18-wheeler struck one car, forcing it to stall. The truck driver kept going as more cars piled up behind him.
The accidents closed both spans of the bridge for several hours.