Two Houston Pileups Leave 22 Vehicles Crashed on Icy Roads

Two multi-vehicle pileups have left an estimated 22 cars crashed in and around Houston, as Texas is once again pummelled by icy weather.

Twelve vehicles were involved in a collision in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston, closing the Southwest Freeway for several hours on Thursday night as crews from the state's Department of Transportation tried to tackle the ice.

About 10 miles away, in Fort Bend County, up to 10 vehicles collided on Thursday night, authorities said. The Westpark Tollway at FM 1464 had to close "due to ice" but has since reopened.

It is not yet clear whether any motorists were injured in the Sugar Land crash, but local police have described it as a "major accident." Minor injuries were reported in the Fort Bend pileup, the local sheriff's office told ABC13.

The two collisions came almost a year after more than 130 vehicles were involved in a pileup in Texas. Six people were killed on February 11, 2021, when a winter storm struck Fort Worth.

The Sugar Land Police Department warned that roads would be closed until conditions improve. "Please avoid area if possible [Major accident] may be a result of ice forming on roadway," the department said in a Facebook post.

It added: "Remain off the roads and avoid travel tonight and tomorrow morning."

In Austin, a 14-vehicle pileup was reported on Thursday night in the 6100 block of N. I-35 southbound. Police, fire and emergency medical services responded to the collision.

Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services posted on Twitter: "Please avoid travel on elevated roadways and overpasses, as icy conditions will continue overnight."

It added later: "No patients have been transported from this incident, #ATCEMSMedics treated one adult patient w/ minor injuries, who refused transport to the hospital.

"Avoid travel if possible and remain #WeatherAware."

In north Houston, a Precinct 1 constable deputy was transported to hospital in unknown condition on Thursday night after he lost control of his patrol vehicle in icy conditions, Click 2 Houston reported.

Just hours earlier, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 17 counties. He said the National Weather Service had forecast at least a quarter-inch of ice in those counties.

"The state of Texas has deployed a plethora of resources to ensure our communities have the support they need to respond to this storm," Abbott said in a statement.

The Republican governor added: "Texas is experiencing one of the most significant ice events in decades, but we have taken unprecedented steps to ensure that our power grid continues to function reliably despite treacherous weather conditions."

According to poweroutage.us, more than 300,000 people in the U.S. are without power, including roughly 20,000 in Texas.

Last year, more than 2 million Texans were left without power when the state's grid was hit by a winter storm and freezing temperatures.

Large winter storm brings ice to Texas
Aerial view shows cars covered in snow and ice at a Ford dealership in Irving, Texas, on February 3. A winter storm has blanketed many parts of Texas with snow, sleet and freezing rain. John Moore/Getty Images