Winter storms wreak havoc across the nation, kill seven

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Two people were killed and dozens were injured when a gasoline tanker skidded off an ice-covered Baltimore highway and exploded, sparking a 55-vehicle pileup as a winter storm brought snow and ice to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, authorities said.

"When I looked up I saw a lot of trailers slamming on each other going 50 mph. Basically they were piling up at 50 mph," eyewitness Marvellous Amasiatu said of the 4:45 a.m. pileup on the elevated portion of I-95 in downtown Baltimore near the Washington Boulevard exit.

"Oh my God," he said. "I could see those trailers coming. They had no idea how bad that bridge froze."

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The driver of the tanker truck was killed and one other person died in the pileup, which was sparked by debris from the tanker crash and explosion, Maryland Transportation Authority Police Lt. Kevin Ayd said. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Winter storms and frigid temperatures that have affected large parts of the country have been blamed in 13 deaths since Tuesday and hundreds of car crashes. At least seven people were killed in crashes since Friday night.

A third person in Maryland was killed Saturday morning after he stepped out of his car on I-95 to inspect damage from a fender-bender and was struck by a vehicle, Ayd said. More than two dozen people were injured in the pileup, four of whom were in critical condition, NBC affiliate WBAL-TV reported.

Two people were killed in crashes in the Charlotte, North Carolina area Saturday morning, accidents police said were due to icy conditions, NBC affiliate WCNC reported.

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Two separate crashes in Indiana between Friday night and Saturday afternoon left two people dead, and more freezing conditions were expected Saturday night, state police said. Overall state police responded to 380 crashes and 150 slide offs by 2 p.m., police said.

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan said "road conditions in many areas of the state are still extremely dangerous, and all those who can avoid travel should stay off the roads until conditions have improved."

Parts of Baltimore County and the city one-fifth of an inch of ice was recorded, the National Weather Service said, and near-freezing temperatures were expected in Maryland, extreme northern Virginia and eastern West Virginia Saturday night.

In New Mexico, state police also reported a pileup that included "approximately 40 vehicles" on Interstate 40 Saturday morning. According to law enforcement, the roadway is covered in snow and ice, but they have not confirmed that the accident was caused by the inclement conditions and have not reported any deaths or injuries.

In St. Louis, the fire department reported more than 50 vehicle accidents and 40 falls. A firefighter was also struck by a vehicle and remains in serious but stable conditions.

Two to five inches of snow were reported to have accumulated across the Northeast and a second bout of cold was expected to create icy conditions. The wintry precipitation is expected to taper off, ending by late Sunday after leaving treacherous conditions in the Mid-Atlantic region, forecasters said.

"It's pretty much winding down especially in the Northeast," said Senior Weather Channel Meteorologist Dave Houtz. "There's still a little bit of freezing rain in parts of New England. Most of it is either rain or snow at this point. It's just foggy and drizzly in New York City, otherwise most of the precipitation is pretty light."

There will be some severe weather in parts of the South Saturday night, from Louisiana through Mississippi and up into Tennessee, forecasters said. It will likely consist of wind, hail and thunderstorms, but tornadoes are possible.

"It is snowing from Colorado to Iowa and Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and northern New York and most of New England north of Boston," said Houtz.

RELATED: Photos of 2016's Winter Storm Jonas:

18 PHOTOS
#Blizzard2016 aka Winter Storm Jonas slams the east coast
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#Blizzard2016 aka Winter Storm Jonas slams the east coast

A massive winter storm system pummeled the eastern United States in late January 2016, with two low-pressure systems merging into a potent nor’easter that dropped heavy snow from Virginia to New England. By late afternoon on Jan. 23, snowfall totals were approaching records in several states, and hurricane-force winds were battering the coastlines and leading to serious flooding. The storm was expected to continue through the morning of Jan. 24.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the storm system at 2:15 a.m. EST on Jan. 23. It was composed through the use of the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects faint light signals such as city lights, moonlight, airglow, and auroras. In the image, the clouds are lit from above by the nearly full Moon and from below by the lights of the heavily populated East Coast. The city lights are blurred in places by cloud cover.

(Photo via NASA)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: A woman walks in strong winds and heavy snow fall in Central Park on January 23, 2016 in New York City. A major Nor'easter is hitting much of the East Coast and parts of the South as forecasts warn of up to two feet of snow in some areas. (Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man use a skiing on a snow covered street in Manhattan in New York on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A pedestrian walks in the center of a snow-covered residential street in Washington, DC on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

January 22, 2016

Scott Kelly ‏(@StationCDRKelly): Massive #snowstorm blanketing #EastCoast clearly visible from @Space_Station! Stay safe! #blizzard2016 #YearInSpace

TOPSHOT - A man lays in a pile of snow in Times Square on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on January 23, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 23: Waves crash on the beach on January 23, 2016 in Cape May, New Jersey. A major snowstorm is upon the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive over a foot of snow. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Nuns from the Fraternite Notre-Dame in Chicago, Illinois are covered in newly fallen snow as they walk along Constitution Avenue while snow begins to accumulate January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas expected to receive up to 1-2 feet of snow. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Snow covers cars parked in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man pushing a snow plough during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in New York. / AFP / FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks on snow covered Thomas Circle in Washington on January 23, 2016. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / Mladen ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: A snowplow cleans up snow on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the U.S. Capitol January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. A winter snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with prediction of up to 30 inches of snow for the DC area. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - The White House is seen during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People cross 15ht Street during a snowstorm in Washington January 22, 2016. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A Homeless covers from the snow in Central park on January 23, 2016 in New York. A deadly blizzard with bone-chilling winds and potentially record-breaking snowfall slammed the eastern US on Saturday, as officials urged millions in the storm's path to seek shelter -- warning the worst is yet to come. US news reports said at least eight people had died by late Friday from causes related to the monster snowstorm, which is expected to last until early Sunday. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks past a restaurant during a snowstorm January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. Thousands of flights were cancelled and supermarket shelves were left bare Friday as millions of Americans hunkered down for a winter storm expected to dump historic amounts of snow in the eastern United States. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 22: Vehicles move along Interstate 40 as an overhead sign indicates 'Winter Weather Warning In Effect' during a winter storm on January 22, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A major snowstorm is forecasted for the East Coast this weekend with some areas getting a possible one to two feet of snow. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
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