Deadly ‘Superfog’ from Marsh Fires Causes Massive Pileups on Louisiana Highway

New Orleans, Louisiana – Monday morning proved to be a tragic and chaotic scene on Interstate 55 when a devastating combination of heavy fog and smoke from marsh fires led to a series of massive pileups involving a total of 158 vehicles, resulting in at least seven fatalities and 25 injuries.

Louisiana State Police revealed that the number of casualties could rise as emergency responders work diligently to clear the crash sites and search for any additional victims. Governor John Bel Edwards made a call for blood donors and requested prayers for those affected by the tragic events.

In the aftermath of the wrecks, harrowing videos and images circulated showing a long stretch of mangled cars on the interstate near New Orleans. The scenes depicted vehicles crushed, engulfed in flames, and stacked on top of each other, as onlookers watched in disbelief at the catastrophic aftermath.

One driver caught in the middle of the chaos, Christopher Coll, recounted the terrifying moments as an F-250 truck drove onto his work trailer during the pileup. He could hear the sounds of cars crashing and tires popping, prompting him to escape through his passenger door and assist others in need.

Another driver, Clarencia Patterson Reed, described the chaos as a continuous barrage of crashes resonated for at least half an hour. Despite managing to scramble out of her car, her wife remained trapped and was injured in the collision.

Aerial photos shared by the Louisiana State Police depicted the extensive damage caused by the pileups, with wreckage strewn across both northbound and southbound lanes of the interstate elevated over swampy terrain. Emergency responders and state troopers continued their efforts to investigate the causes of the crashes and coordinate with transportation authorities to inspect the affected bridge.

Traffic congestion ensued for miles in both directions on I-55, leading to intermittent closures on parts of I-10 and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway due to poor visibility. School buses were deployed to transport stranded motorists, while crews worked tirelessly to clear the wreckage and remove a tanker truck carrying hazardous materials.

The National Weather Service reported that multiple wetland fires in the region, combined with fog, created a dense “superfog” that contributed to the disastrous chain of events. Although visibility improved as the fog lifted, the lingering impact of the marsh fires and smoke remained uncertain, prompting several school closures and delayed openings in and near New Orleans due to the thick smoke and fog.