TODAY   |  November 23, 2012

Massive Texas highway pileup kills 2, injures 51

Over 100 vehicles collided on Interstate 10 near Beaumont, Tex., on Thursday, as many were headed to visit family for Thanksgiving. Two were killed and 51 were injured, eight critically, as first responders pulled survivors out of wreckage that went for miles. NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports.

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>> to deadly highway pile-up in southeast, texas that left two people dead and 80 others hurt. the carnage stretched for mild. amid the chaos there are stories of heroism. for more now we go to nbc's janet shamlian .

>> reporter: once the heavy fog lifted on interstate 10 near beaumont, texas, the devastation was clear. more than 100 vehicles included trucks twisted on top of each other that left first responders rushing to pull survivors from the miles of wreckage.

>> it was very hectic. you got a lot of people that were traveling for thanksgiving today, so being involved in a crash, you had a lot of injured people along the roadway and people, some of them were still in their vehicle

>> reporter: pile-up happened thanksgiving morning about 8:00 a.m . just as many were taking to the road to visit friends and family

>> we just heard car after car boom, boom, boom, boom.

>> reporter: tamika and her family on their way to new orleans were rear-ended by an suv.

>> when they got out of the car, all we saw was the truck pushing our car from way back there all the way up there.

>> reporter: the suv that had tamika's car ended up underneath a tractor trailer. the man and woman inside was killed. tamika's daughter was the only one hurt in her car, and her injuries are not life-threatening.

>> thankful for life, for god sparing us.

>> reporter: a little further up the line katie and her husband and two children pulled over as the cars ahead of them stopped in the road. they could hear cars hitting each other in the fog. katie , who is a nurse, run back to help a family behind them as the cars kept piling up.

>> i was trying to get the little boy out of the car, and then people started hitting us again and i realized it wasn't over so i jumped in the car, sat on the little boy 's last and closed the door and braced each other until we knew it was done.

>> reporter: sheriff's office was grateful that despite the chaos so many uninjured holiday travelers like katie came to the aid of those in need. for "today," janet shamlian , nbc news.