5 victims identified in massive 133-car pileup in Fort Worth that killed at least 6 people – The Dallas Morning News

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Five of the victims of Thursday’s Fort Worth crash that involved more than 100 cars and killed at least six people have been identified.

Tiffany Louann Gerred, 34; Aaron Luke Watson, 45; Michael Henry Wells, 47; Christopher Ray Vardy, 49; and William Darrell Williams, 54, were all among the crash victims, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

All of the victims died between 6 a.m. and 6: 15 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. Causes of deaths for the victims are still pending.

Gerred, an administrative clerk for the Tarrant County District Clerk’s Office, leaves behind a young daughter. Gerred was assigned to the 360th District Court which hears family cases. She always entered the courtroom with a smile on her face and was a bright presence, Judge Patricia Baca Bennett said.

“It was always nice to see her because she was always upbeat and that made it a pleasure to work with her,” Baca Bennett said.

Tarrant County District Clerk Thomas Wilder called Gerred “a beacon of light with her energetic personality” in an email to his staff Friday morning. Resources would be available to her grieving colleagues, Wilder added.

Thursday’s pileup was the most staggering of the crashes that dotted ice-slicked roads across Dallas-Fort Worth throughout the day.

The crash, which was reported just after 6 a.m., occurred in the southbound TEXPress lanes of Interstate 35W just north of downtown, Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis said.

Officials said 133 vehicles were involved, and the crash spanned a half-mile between Northeast 28th Street and Northside Drive.

The crash closed all northbound lanes of I-35W Thursday, including toll lanes, with traffic backed up in both directions from Interstate 30 to Interstate 820, Fort Worth police said.

As of about 6:30 a.m. Friday, the ramps from north loop Interstate 820 to southbound I-35W were still closed for the accident investigation.

A total of 65 people had been treated at area hospitals Thursday for injuries related to the crash, but that number is expected to rise as more people seek help, MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said. None of those treated were children.

Zavadsky said a large number of people who were involved in the accident were health care workers who were wearing scrubs and hospital badges.

Four Fort Worth police officers were hospitalized as a result of the wreck, Chief Neil Noakes said. Three had been on their way to work, and one was injured while helping at the scene. All four were released from the hospital.

In the early hours of Friday morning, less accidents were reported areawide. Many North Texas school districts again chose to delay openings or move to online learning Friday due to the inclement weather.

COVID-19 vaccine hub operations

Dallas County: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the county’s Fair Park vaccination center would be open with limited hours Friday, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At 9 p.m. Thursday, the county health department said in a tweet that on Friday the center will only be vaccinating people who are due for their second dose. Only people who were scheduled for their second doses from Monday through Thursday will be served at the center, the county said.

People who were due for their second doses on Friday will be turned away if they show up at the site today, the county said. Weather permitting, the county said it would reopen Sunday to vaccinate people who were due Friday for their second dose.

Tarrant County: Tarrant County Public Health said in a tweet Wednesday night that its vaccine clinics will be open Friday for those with scheduled appointments. COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Friday through Monday.

Collin County: Vaccine appointments originally scheduled for Friday at Plano’s John Clark Stadium are being rescheduled, the county said. Affected patients will be contacted by Curative Medical Associates. Collin County government offices will have a delayed 10 a.m. opening Friday.

Denton County: The county said in a tweet Tuesday that the county’s vaccine clinic at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth would be open from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday by appointment only. People originally scheduled for vaccination Thursday had their appointments moved to Friday, the county said.

Parkland Health & Hospital System: The vaccination sites at Ellis Davis Field House and Eastfield Community College in Mesquite would be closed Thursday through Monday, the hospital said. People with appointments for those locations were to go to Parkland Memorial Hospital at their scheduled time, and anyone who couldn’t make it were to be contacted by Parkland.

Testing sites at Sam Tasby Middle School in Dallas, Irving Health Center and West Dallas Multipurpose Center were staying closed Thursday through Monday, Parkland said.

Future forecast

North Texans are likely to get a break from dangerous weather conditions for a few days, but they could soon be struggling in slick conditions again. A round of snow could come late Sunday into Monday, and highs are not expected to get out of the 20s those days, according to the National Weather Service.

The Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Thursday afternoon for all of North Texas, including Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant counties. The watch will be in effect from late Saturday through Monday afternoon.

“Travel will become nearly impossible and could become life-threatening,” the Weather Service cautioned in a winter storm watch, adding that “near blizzard conditions” are possible with heavy, blowing snow.

How much snow the area could face remains unclear, though some forecast models point to accumulations of 3 to 7 inches, with higher totals farther north, Weather Service meteorologist Juan Hernandez said.

“In addition to the snow, winds in excess of 25-30 mph could lead to borderline blizzard conditions during the early Monday morning hours,” he said in a forecast update. “Travel during this time period is highly discouraged as any snow that falls will stick to any surface given the cold temperatures.”