Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Bookmark and Share this page

Accident Report Detail

Multiple-Vehicle Collisions and Fire During Limited Visibility on Interstate 75

Executive Summary

‚ÄčAbout 9: 10 a.m. on December 11, 1990, a tractor-semitrailer in the southbound lanes of 1-75 near Calhoun, Tennessee, struck the rear of another tractor-semitrailer that had slowed because of fog. The uninjured truckdrivers exited their vehicles and attempted to check for damage. After the initial collision, an automobile struck the rear of the second truck and was in turn struck in the rear by another tractor-semitrailer. Fire ensued and consumed two trucks and the automobile. Meanwhile, in the northbound lanes of 1-75, an automobile struck the rear of another automobile that had slowed because of fog. Then, a pickup truck and two other automobiles became involved in the chain-reaction rear end collision. No fatalities, injuries, or fires occurred. Subsequently, 99 vehicles in the northbound and southbound lanes were in multiple-vehicle chain-reaction collisions that killed 12 people and injured 42 others.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the multiple-vehicle collisions on 1-75 near Calhoun, Tennessee, was drivers responding to the sudden loss of visibility by operating their vehicles at significantly varying speeds.

Accident Location: Calhoun , TN    
Accident Date: 12/11/1990
Accident ID: DCA91MH001

Date Adopted: 9/28/1992
NTSB Number: HAR-92-02
NTIS Number: PB92-916202