The extensive chain reaction occurred in extreme fog at about 8 a.m. southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city approximately 80 miles east of Houston, according to an AP report
A man and a woman were killed when an 18-wheeler crushed the Chevy Suburban they were riding in, according to the reports.
A spokesman for Acadian Ambulance service said at least 51 people were hospitalized including at least eight who are listed in critical condition.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputy Rod Carroll told The Associated Press the fog was so thick that deputies didn't immediately realize they were dealing with multiple accidents and it isn’t clear exactly what started the chain reaction.
"It is catastrophic," Carroll said. "I've got cars on top of cars."
I-10's eastbound lanes were expected to remain closed for most of Thursday.
Carroll said drivers and passengers who were not injured assisted in pulling people from wreckage as emergency personnel worked through the morning in a sustained rescue effort.
"It's just people helping people," Carroll said. "The foremost thing in this holiday season is how other travelers were helping us when we were overwhelmed, sitting and holding, putting pressure on people that were injured."