Medical examiner identifies 5 of 6 people killed in Fort Worth I-35 pileup crash

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    Domingo Ramirez Jr. and Jack Howland

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified five of the six people who were killed Thursday in a pileup of over 100 vehicles on I-35W in Fort Worth.

    Those who died include Tiffany Louann Gerred, 34, of Northlake; Aaron Luke Watson, 45, of Fort Worth; Christopher Ray Vardy, 49, of Boyd; William Darrell Williams, 54, of Pahoa, Hawaii; and Michael Henry Wells, 47, of Justin, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

    As the commute to work began just after 6 a.m. Thursday, cars, pickup trucks and 18-wheelers collided on an icy half-mile section in the southbound express lanes of I-35W near downtown, authorities said. Police said 133 vehicles were involved in the crash.

    Six people died on the interstate. Others were trapped and rescued by firefighters. Sixty-five people were injured.

    Tiffany Gerred’s father, Juan Gerred, told the Star-Telegram late Thursday morning that his daughter hadn’t shown up for work and she was not answering her phone. He decided to go to the family reunification center set up by the city at Riverside Community Center to get information.

    He and his family waited at the center, hoping to hear any information on his daughter, but at that time they didn’t know what happened to her.

    “There are a lot of Jane Does and John Does still,” Juan Gerred said. “We can only hope for the best and will go from there.”

    Tiffany Gerred worked as an administrative court clerk in the 360th Family Court.

    Vardy was a longtime volunteer and leader at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.

    “It’s a tragic loss for the church,” said senior pastor Tim Bruster in a telephone interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday. “He’s been very active in the church for 22 years.”

    Vardy’s wife is Tamara Vardy, the superintendent of the Boyd school district. School officials said they would release a statement later in the day.

    Vardy had served on the church’s youth council and other leadership roles for years.

    “He was so involved in mission trips as a worker and a sponsor,” Bruster said. “He never missed an opportunity to help.”

    Bruster said that Vardy was probably known by and worked with hundreds of people in the church.

    Vardy worked as a program manager at InterConnect Wiring, a Fort Worth-based company that supplies military aerospace electrical products, according to a LinkedIn profile in his name.

    “He was a friend to many people,” the senior pastor said. “He’s going to be missed.”

    This is a developing story and will be updated.

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