2 killed, 16 injured after 50-car pileup on Vietnam Vets Blvd. - WSMV Channel 4

2 killed, 16 injured after 50-car pileup on Vietnam Vets Blvd.

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HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Two people died and others were injured after a 50-car pileup on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard near Saundersville Road Thursday morning.

One of the deceased victims was identified as 28-year-old Paul Warren of Hendersonville, TN.  James Ziegler was involved in the pileup and later died from his injuries.

Four separate wrecks all happened within the span of a few minutes.

Hendersonville police say the series of wrecks began at 6:56 a.m.  Traffic stopped and another pile-up happened.  The third pile-up was the one that caused Warren's death.  The fourth crash happened shortly thereafter.

The wrecks covered a two-mile stretch of Vietnam Vets Boulevard, beginning roughly at the bridge over Gallatin Road and ending close to the Saundersville Road exit.

Thick fog and black ice are possible factors in the crashes.  A Hendersonville police lieutenant says there was black ice on the roadway, but investigators have not determined that to be the official cause of the pileup.

16 others injured

Eight people were taken to Hendersonville Medical Center with minor injuries and later released, according to hospital spokeswoman Shawna Zodi.

Eight other people, two children and six adults, were transported to Sumner Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

As the fog lifted, damaged vehicles could be seen along a couple of miles of Vietnam Veterans Parkway in Hendersonville.

"I would compare it to a racetrack when there's been a pileup," said Ray McLaughlin, a district chief with the Hendersonville Fire Department. "Everyone started bouncing off one another."

The chief said emergency workers counted 179 vehicles stopped at the crash scene, 50 of which had collided.

Other than the one death, most of the injuries were neck and back complaints, McLaughlin said.

One school bus was involved, but no children were hurt, said Sgt. Jim Vaughn with Hendersonville police.

People involved in the wreck who were not injured were taken to the Sumner County Administration building in Gallatin.

Traffic returned to normal at about 12:30 p.m.

Copyright 2011 WSMV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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