Burning Hay Bales Blamed For US 20 Pileups In Iowa

By Salon Staff
March 6, 2012 4:36AM (UTC)
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WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) — Eight people have been hospitalized — two in serious condition — after chain-reaction collisions involving nearly two-dozen vehicles on U.S. Highway 20 in north-central Iowa.

Authorities are blaming the pileups on poor visibility due to fog and thick, black smoke billowing from burning hay bales nearby.

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The Iowa State Patrol says part of the highway was closed for several hours after the two separate incidents that happened about 7:30 a.m. Monday just east of Webster City. The four-lane highway was littered with crushed vehicles, including several semitrailers.

Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright said the combination of fog and smoke from the hay bales a farmer was burning at the time, cutting visibility to zero.


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