Fiery I-80 Crash Happened In Midst Of Safety Push

By Mark Carlson, Reporter

Photo submitted by KCRG-TV9 viewer Kim Jahlas (KCRG/THE GAZETTE)

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By Aaron Hepker

IOWA COUNTY, Iowa - A fiery crash on Interstate 80 Tuesday afternoon occurred in the midst of a national effort to reduce crashes and fatalities on Interstate 80.

Last week, state and federal officials kicked off the "I-80 Challenge," pledging to increase patrol on Interstate 80 across the entire country.

The crash, which sent two people to the hospital, happened after a semi clipped another semi and a car near Victor Tuesday. The vehicles had slowed down as crews removed debris from an earlier crash, which happened in the same area. A ruptured fuel tank then triggered the massive fire.

"A fire like that is extremely rare," said Iowa State Trooper Bob Conrad. Conrad said the crash is a good example of why drivers need to pay attention to their surroundings at all times. "Drivers think it's 70 [mph] and two lanes all the way to Des Moines," he said. "But it's not always like that."

The "I-80 Challenge" ends today after an eight day campaign.

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