One man died and 11 people were injured after gravel truck plowed into stationary vehicles in a tunnel in Yilan County, causing a pile-up of 16 vehicles, including 5 trucks, 10 cars, and one motorcycle, today, Tuesday, October 24.
Emergency services received reports of a serious multi-vehicle accident in the northbound lanes of the Xin’ao Tunnel on the Suhua Highway (Highway 9) in Nan’ao Township at 1:40 pm. The Yilan County Fire Department dispatched teams from fire stations in Su’ao, Nanfang’ao, Dongshan, Wujie, Guangxing, and Luodong.
Firefighters and paramedics described the scene as resembling that of a disaster movie. Mangled wrecks of cars were squeezed between trucks, one between a gravel truck and the tunnel wall. A motorcyclist with his legs pinned under the wheel of a truck was calling out for help.
A total of twelve people were injured, including one who had lost vital signs, another described as seriously injured, and 10 with non-life-threatening injuries. At 4:10 pm, the the critically injured 76-year-old man, named Zhang, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to the preliminary police investigation, vehicles in the 1.2-kilometer-long tunnel had pulled over to the left and right-hand sides to allow an ambulance with emergency lights and sirens activated pass through the center of the tunnel. A gravel truck then plowed into the stationary vehicles. Dashcam footage from the truck that caused the accident showed that the driver did not slow down or apply the brakes at all before the crash.
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