Survivor of massive car pile-up describes the scene

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Brandon Jolly was among the motorists involved in Monday morning’s horrific car pile-up on Interstate 55 in St. John the Baptist Parish. Jolly said he was traveling south, and the fog intensified once he reached Lake Maurepas, and it was a miracle he wasn’t initially hit or hit anyone else.

“But whenever I looked in the rearview mirror, I just saw swerving vehicles, and a truck go up into the air and flip up on its side. So, I just pulled my seatbelt tight, threw the van in park, and just waited to get hit pretty much,” said Jolly.

Eight people died in the pile-up that occurred in both the north and southbound lanes of the interstate.

Jolly said while he drives long-distance for a living, even driving 50 miles per hour, well below the posted speed limit of 70, that morning didn’t change the outcome.

“I thought that was cautious enough, but I don’t think there was any way to be 100% cautious in that moment because it happened so fast it was like a blur,” said Jolly.

While trapped on the interstate, Jolly said it was surreal when people would emerge from the fog looking for help. He said a woman who worked with a fire department approached him and they began to pull people out of cars.  And while he didn’t see any fatalities in his immediate area…

“We did see a lot of people being pulled from their vehicles, unresponsive. And I actually walked the whole line as far as I could go before it was blocked off by flaming wreckage,” said Jolly.

Authorities say the morning fog combined with smoke from marsh fires severely limited visibility which sparked a chain reaction of multiple crashes.

 

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