Iowa mother talks about rescuing her kids during I-80 pileup caused by blizzard

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 7:32 AM CST
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NEWTON, Iowa (KCCI) - About a month ago, a massive pile up shutdown I-80 in central Iowa during blizzard conditions.

We’re now hearing from a mother who was inside one of those vehicles with her three kids.

The crash, involving 40 vehicles, happened between Colfax and Newton.

Katie Ruga said she had an important doctor’s appointment that day and had to travel to Des Moines.

She said on her way home she could see the pile-up less than two miles from her exit.

While she knew the common warning was to stay in your vehicle, she believed it was a life or death situation. And that’s when she grabbed her blanket, unbuckled her three kids and ran for safety.

“I just kept replaying it like what had happened and processing the trauma the kids and I had just been through. And yeah, still very emotional today,” Katie Ruga said.

Just moments later, a truck smashed into the family’s van.

Had it not been for her Ruga’s instincts, they could’ve been seriously hurt.

A kind semi driver let the family stay warm in his truck.

See the story on KCCI’s website.

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