Truck driver Sandra Thompson says her plans to return home to Montgomery County, North Carolina was delayed when she was forced to find a detour as she traveled down Interstate-77 from Nashville.
She sat in her rig for more than fou -hours Sunday afternoon as crews worked to clear the massive 95-vehicle pile-up.
(Click here to see images from the accident)
"The fog is so thick, there are warning signs up, and they do flash them constant when it’s really bad like that. People need to slow down, truck drivers and motorist also because it is dangerous out on the road," Thompson said.
Dense fog Saturday afternoon is being blamed for 17 separate accidents along the one-mile stretch of highway near the Fancy Gap Mountain, located near the North Carolina- Virginia border.
Thompson says many chose to ignore the message boards that had been lit up warning drivers to take it slow because of the fog.
"If you see that warning, you need to slow down at least 10 miles under what the speed limit is and you need to watch your following distance because it takes a football field to stop one of these," she said.
James Glasgow from Mississippi has been truck driver for 48 years. He has seen his share of accidents caused by poor visibility from sandstorms, fog and rain.
He says the best thing drivers can do in similar conditions is to make themselves seen on the road. He advises drivers to avoid sudden stops.
"People have got to learn, that getting scared and ramming on breaks will kill you," said Glasgow.
Glasgow echoes the advice given by Trooper James Williamson with the State Highway Patrol in Asheville.
"I understand things happen in front of you, but in those conditions where visibility is hampered by the fog and certainly adverse conditions-- you want to decrease your speed, increase that following distance, and almost anticipate that vehicles in front of you will stop."
Williamson adds that the Department of Transportation alerts drivers of road and weather conditions using the highway message boards.
Sunday's crash is the deadliest to date along that stretch of road. Two people were killed in a 75-vehicle pileup in 1997. Records show there have been several similar fog-related accidents between markers four and six over the years.
Glasgow says depending on their experience, even truck drivers can make the mistake of braking too abruptly when caught in a fog. He says drivers need to be aware of their limitations and exercise extreme caution, especially during inclement weather.
Trooper Williamson says even Monday morning, drivers experienced heavy fog near and around the mountain regions, and such conditions are expected as we enter the heavy travel months.
"It will occur where there are rivers and streams and low lying areas, in the valley, and where there are differences in temperatures," he said.
Adjusting speeds and being extra cautious may seem like common sense, but as the 100-car pileup shows, driver can never be too careful.