(AP/Meredith) — Newly-released dash cam video shows Sunday's massive pileup on Interstate 44 near Marshfield, Missouri up close and personal. Curtis Jones, who was traveling with his kids, captured the scene as it unfolded.
The video shows cars slamming on the brakes over a small hill near mile marker 107. As Jones starts to slow down, a white car then enters the frame, tries to swerve and brake but slams into a semi, demolishing the car's front bumper.
The driver, Caroline Gardner, quickly leaps from the vehicle before more cars reach the pileup. Gardner said she thought she was going to die.
Jones, watching the whole incident from inside his car, told KYTV he thought Gardner was gone too after bolting but is grateful she walked away unscathed.
60 to 80 damaged vehicles, another two dozen vehicles became blocked and unable to move, according to Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace. The pileup killed a 55-year-old man from Glendora, California, whose name wasn't immediately released. The interstate was closed for several hours while crews cleared the wreckage.
Pace said nearly 350 crashes and 50 to 55 injuries were reported in the 18-county area he is responsible for in the southwest part of the state.
Authorities said the wrecks were caused, in part, by drivers trying to enter the freeway and crashing into existing accidents.
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