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50 Car Pileup On Highway 198 Near Lemoore, Speeding In Fog To Blame

Jan 31, 2017

A series of traffic collisions involving around 50 vehicles closed Highways 41 and 198 this morning near Lemoore. CHP Officer John Tyler says dense fog was a major factor in the crashes.

Tyler says visibility was 100 to 200 feet from the front of each car this morning out where the accidents took place on Highway 198 around 8:30 AM this morning.

"The entire Valley is known for fog," Tyler says. "The mean thing about fog is that it doesn't stay in one place. It moves, it changes. You can leave your house on a bright sunny day and thirty minutes later you can be in the thickest fog you can imagine."

Tyler says that's what happened today. 

"When you're driving at freeway speeds you're driving at 60 mph," Tyler says. "You're driving 90 feet per second. Essentially people were driving and they couldn't see a second in front of them."  

He says the first collision happened on Highway 198 near 16th Avenue and Highway 198 and grew to 13th Avenue.  That's a four mile stretch of highway. 

"These collisions occurred not all at once, but they were separated by 20 to 30 seconds each," Tyler says. "They were driving too fast in the fog. They couldn't see where they were going and they couldn't stop when the traffic was stopped ahead of them."

Tyler says it appears there are no fatalities and less than 10 mild to moderate injuries linked with the collisions.