By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - Ice and thick fog are being blamed for a 46-vehicle pileup that left at least one dead and brought to a standstill one of the Nashville-area's major commuter routes on Thursday morning, officials said.
The wreck on Vietnam Veterans Parkway, which connects the northern suburban communities of Hendersonville and Gallatin with Interstate 65 and Nashville, occurred at about 7 a.m., according to Danny Vanlee, assistant administrator of the Sumner County Emergency Management Agency.
He said the chain-reaction accident was caused when the thick fog on a bridge "must have frozen and caused an ice patch. They still are having problems with ice out there on the road."
By 9 a.m. rescuers were still having trouble reaching the entire wreck scene, Vanlee said, because of the number of cars and the fog that remained thick in the sub-freezing temperatures.
He had no details yet about the fatality or the number of injuries.
A tanker truck and a school bus were involved, but the truck driver and children were okay, Vanlee said. The rest were personal vehicles.
The wreck occurred in the eastbound lanes that lead away from Nashville and toward Gallatin, but Vanlee said both sides have been closed so rescuers can get to the vehicles in the wreck.
Hendersonville police dispatch confirmed that several people, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, have been taken to the emergency room at the local hospital.
(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jerry Norton)