Fourth of July fireworks contributing to heavy fog in bypass crash

NOW: Fourth of July fireworks contributing to heavy fog in bypass crash

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. --Fireworks could be heard across Michiana Thursday night in celebration of Independence Day, but when the smoke from those fireworks mixed with the humid, foggy air along the US 20 bypass, the low visibility led to an almost 15 car pile-up.

Meteorologist Nathan Marsili from the National Weather Service (NWS) explained that the firework smoke and humidity caused from rainfall in Elkhart County created something called an inversion in the atmosphere.

Marsili described that as a lid on the atmosphere that keeps fog and smoke trapped.

“I think what made the situation so unique was the fact that we had that heavy rain right in that area, and that kind of cooled near the ground to kind of create that profile in the atmosphere which can trap in the fog and not allow it to mix out as easily," said Marsili.

Marsili went on to explain that these conditions may continue over the weekend as 4th of July celebrations rage on and the weather stays humid. This could be a concern for those who are paid to stay on the road.

A service provider at UPS, Lenny, expressed the need to pay attention when driving in situations like last night's fog.

"Just drop back, you’re watching the other guy... if somebody runs into somebody, there is just going to be a pile up because people are not paying attention. It comes up quick, just boom, boom, boom. So just stay back, reduce your speed, follow distancing," said Lenny.

A semi-truck owner and operator, Roy Evans Jr., has been out on the road for many holidays. He explained he needs to keep an extra eye on the road - looking out for others who may not be paying attention - especially this weekend.

“Just go slow. But sometimes something just pops up, fog is a big one. You’re driving along and all the sudden, ‘oh crap, where’d the road go’,” said Evans.

To get all the latest updates on your city's air quality, Click Here, where you can see the air levels for the previous 24 hours.

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