Two people died and eight were injured in an accident involving multiple vehicles on the Sibin Expressway (Highway No. 61) yesterday morning, the Yunlin County Police Bureau said.
At 7:31am, the Chiayi County Fire Department received a report of a deadly accident at the 254km marker on the expressway’s northbound lanes, near the border between Yunlin and Chiayi counties, the bureau said.
Seven trucks and 13 passenger vehicles were involved in the collision, it said.
Photo courtesy of the Chiayi County Fire Department via CNA
The casualties were a man surnamed Lin (林) and a woman surnamed Lee (李), both of whom were in their 60s.
A retired employee of CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) and a Chiayi County resident, Lin was driving to inspect his clam farms in Yunlin, police said, adding that Lee was traveling with her husband and son to worship at a temple in Yunlin.
Video footage captured by a driver’s dashboard camera showed Lin’s vehicle, a silver Toyota RAV4, rear-ending a truck transporting propane tanks. His vehicle was then rear-ended by another truck.
Other footage showed an injured man nearly being run over by another vehicle after just having pulled himself up off the ground.
Lin was killed on the spot, police said.
Lee, who was in a car driven by her son, was about to get out of the car after it collided with a vehicle in front of it. She was thrown out of the car when it was hit by another truck, police said.
She was pronounced dead after emergency treatment at a local hospital, police said, adding that her son and husband managed to get out of the car in time.
Police said that the accident might have been caused by low visibility due to thick fog.
Based on the regulations governing investigations of major highway accidents, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board only opens an investigation into a highway accident when at least three people have died, more than 10 people have died or been injured, or more than 15 people have been injured.
Many asked why the Central Weather Bureau did not issue a thick fog alert for the area.
The bureau said that there is no weather observation station near the scene of the accident, adding that a station would not be able to detect isolated fog.
The bureau said it issues a thick fog warning if the visibility is lower than 200m to 300m.
The Environmental Protection Administration said the density of air pollutants in central Taiwan, Yunlin and Chiayi counties, and Tainan reached the “red” alert level yesterday, which would have indirectly affected visibility.
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