Dallas traffic jam takes U-turn for the worse

Mike Krumboltz
The Sideshow

Lead, follow or get out of the way. Or, if you happened to be stuck in the recent traffic apocalypse on Interstate 635 in Dallas on Tuesday, just pull a U-turn on the freeway.

The initial cause of the traffic was an overturned vehicle, according to CBS-DFW. But that was just the beginning. A short time later, there were two more accidents, the results of passing motorists rubbernecking at the scene. There were no injuries in the accidents, according to CBS-DFW.

Things took a U-turn for the surreal when drivers began flipping around on the jam-packed interstate and driving the wrong way down the highway in hopes of finding an exit.

Now some drivers are saying that police directed them to do that and, in the process, contributed to the chaos of Tuesday's standstill.

Yahoo News spoke with Officer Monica Cordova of the Dallas Police Department's media relations team. She said her department is still gathering information about what happened from officers who were at the scene.

On Wednesday, the Dallas Police Department posted a statement to its blog.

Via DPD Beat:

On March 18, shortly after 1:00 pm Dallas police responded to an injury accident on eastbound LBJ Freeway near Audelia Road. As officers were assigned and responding, additional collisions occurred — at least 7 in all.

The resultant traffic back up made police response difficult at best and some motorists, apparently unwilling to wait until the collisions could be cleared, took it upon themselves to go against the flow of traffic in an effort to get out of the congestion. Adding to the difficulties, one well-intentioned officer appears to have directed some motorists up a closed ramp to try and get them off the freeway with no success.

In all, 14 Dallas police squads were assigned to assist with the collision investigation and resultant traffic tie up. Officers worked to clear the collision scenes as soon as possible and we regret that because of the location of the collisions, limited access to alternate routes and directions to a closed ramp by our officer, the problem was not cleared sooner.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

Related: Chopper 11 video of traffic mayhem.