Barbara Cochran claimed that she was getting ready to go to bed on Monday night when she heard a loud crash outside her rural Mississippi home. Her husband was asleep, and Hurricane Ida was dumping torrential rain. The home’s AC was humming loudly.

Retired educator, aged 83, said that she went to the porch to check if there was a large oak tree down or if there had been an 18-wheeler going down the hill towards their home. She didn’t see any car lights so she assumed there wasn’t a wreck.

She heard another loud crash about 10 minutes later when she returned inside. Cochran was notified by a third crash just moments later. She was about to call her sheriff’s office when she heard sirens.

She said, “I heard something that sounded almost like a woman screaming.”

Two people were killed and at least 10 others were injured late Monday when seven vehicles plunged, one after another, into a deep hole where a dark, rural highway collapsed as Hurricane Ida blew through Mississippi, authorities said Tuesday.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Cal Robertson said that heavy rainfall could have caused the collapse and disappearance of the two-lane Mississippi Highway 26 west from Lucedale. Cal Robertson stated. At 10:30 p.m., the George County Sheriff’s Department received their first call.

According to Cochran, she only learned about the highway collapse and the wrecks after she woke up from a sleepless night. She expressed her gratitude to the families of those who were killed or injured and said that she was praying for them.

Cochran stated Tuesday that “this is such a disaster.”

Robertson stated that some vehicles crashed on top of one another as they collided into the abyss. This opened up in rural areas without street lights. According to the National Weather Service, Ida poured as much as 13 inches (33.3 centimeters), of rain through Mississippi.

Robertson stated, “You can picture driving at night when heavy rain is coming down.” It’s nothing but a wall, and your headlights are reflecting back at you.

The crash site was located 60 miles (96 km) northeast of Biloxi. Emergency workers, state troopers and rescue teams arrived to discover that both eastbound and westbound lanes had collapsed. Robertson stated that the hole is approximately 50-60 feet (15-18 meters) in length and 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) deep.

George County Sheriff Keith Havard told the Sun Herald that the sheriff’s department received a 911 call from a man whose car had plunged into the hole.

Havard stated that he said he was driving, but suddenly he stopped driving. He didn’t know what had happened. “I can’t believe anyone could understand what had happened.”

According to the newspaper, 911 dispatchers reported hearing other vehicles collide into the pit.

Later, the crane lifted the vehicles out of the hole and left some debris behind. A drone video published by the Sun Herald showed how a raised berm beneath the road washed away, leaving a red-clay scar that runs for hundreds of feet, from a cemetery on one side into a wooded area on the other.

Kelly Castleberry, district engineer at the Mississippi Department of Transportation said that the slide was caused by the ground beneath the roadway and embankment being super-saturated.

Jerry Lee, 49 of Lucedale was pronounced deceased at 1:20 a.m. Kent Brown, 49 of Leakesville was pronounced deceased 10 minutes later, George County coroner DeeAnn Murphy said.

George County High School reported that a senior student was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The collapsed highway caused problems for buses and other traffic, so local schools were closed on Tuesday.

Tom King, Mississippi Southern District Transportation Commissioner, said that he doesn’t know anything unusual regarding the soil conditions at the site where the highway caved.

King said to the AP that they were being bombarded with rain in South Mississippi.

King stated that work crews were inspecting other highways in areas where Ida has caused heavy rain.

According to Mississippi Department of Transportation data, between 3,100 and 5,700 vehicles travel along this stretch of highway each day.

King stated that it would take time to repair the roadbed and make it safe for people to cross.

Mike Dillon, pastor at Crossroads United Pentecostal Church is located near the crash site. Dillon said that he found out about the crash after he checked an online community prayer page. He prayed and walked to the site of the crash, as many others do.

Dillon stated, “We’re a very tight-knit community. And we’re going through this with help from the Lord.”

Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 hurricane that blasted the U.S. coast on Sunday, was one of the strongest ever to strike the continent. It knocked out power in large parts of southern Louisiana and Mississippi, causing widespread flooding and roof damage.