WHITE MARSH, Md. – Dozens of vehicles crashed Saturday in separate accidents on Interstate 95 as a storm blew through a Baltimore (search) suburb, injuring at least 49 people and forcing authorities to shut down the highway.
Some of the injuries were serious, but no deaths were immediately reported.
Maryland State Police Cpl.Rob Moroney (search) said there were at least four large accidents along a five-mile stretch of I-95. The accidents started happening about 4:30 p.m. when the sky darkened and hail and rain started falling.
Cindy James, of Woodbridge Va., said the road wasn't slippery but the glare was unusually strong from sleet on the road, even while wearing sunglasses.
"Everybody stopped because of the glare and the sleet," said James' 15-year-old daughter, Veronica.
Susan Whickers, of Baltimore, said she knew she was in trouble when drivers in all four lanes slammed on their brakes.
"I had nowhere to go," she said. "I was thinking, `Oh God,' because the car in front of us went right under a tractor-trailer."
Leslie Baker, an emergency medical technician with the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company (search), said she knew of 49 people who had been injured, including 22 in one crash involving a bus with 30 people aboard.
Baker said that while she was helping at that accident, she saw other crashes happen, one involving a tractor-trailer running over another vehicle.
Five people being treated at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma were in serious condition, a spokeswoman said. Ten people were sent to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said.
There also were numerous minor injuries, the state police said, but the total number of people transported to hospitals was not immediately clear.
A witness told WBAL-TV that he saw at least 90 crashed vehicles. The station aired footage showing smashed vehicles littering the road and the median.
A section of I-95 was closed in both directions, but Moroney said authorities were working to open up at least one lane on each side.