Not less than seven folks had been killed and a number of other others had been injured when a sandstorm that blinded drivers led to a pileup in southwestern Utah on Sunday afternoon, state officers stated.
The Utah Freeway Patrol stated it appeared that 20 vehicles were involved within the crash “after excessive winds triggered a sand or mud storm and impaired visibility on the roadway.”
“Nobody may see, so folks began stopping, and you then simply get a series response,” Trooper Andrew Battenfield, a spokesman for the Freeway Patrol, stated late Sunday night time. “No person may see, after which unexpectedly, you’re slamming right into a automotive,” he stated. “It’s only a horrific scenario.”
A number of folks had been taken to native hospitals in crucial situation, officers stated.
The crash, which occurred round 5 p.m. native time, prompted the closure of elements of Interstate 15 in Millard County, between Salt Lake Metropolis and St. George. The Freeway Patrol stated the street can be closed within the space for a “vital time.”
Particulars concerning the victims weren’t instantly obtainable.
Trooper Battenfield stated officers didn’t know late Sunday night time how many individuals had been hospitalized.
“We don’t even know what number of for positive had been hospitalized, that is how massive of a crash it was,” Trooper Battenfield stated. “A whole lot of them are in crucial situation.”
Trooper Battenfield stated a “microburst of wind in an space that didn’t have a variety of vegetation,” kick-started the crash.
Pictures shared by the Freeway Patrol appeared to point out the wreckage of a car pinned beneath a tractor-trailer. One other picture confirmed a crimson car that had been severed by a unique tractor-trailer.
About an hour earlier than the crash, a extreme thunderstorm in Parowan, Utah, about 90 miles southwest of the crash, was stirring up mud and grime, in response to the National Weather Service workplace in Salt Lake Metropolis.
On the time, Parowan was underneath a extreme thunderstorm warning, and the Climate Service stated winds of as much as 60 miles per hour had been potential.
It was unclear whether or not the storm in Parowan was linked to the sandstorm in Millard County.
Mud storms are usually not unusual in Utah, having occurred as recently as June and April within the state. A current examine printed by Brigham Younger College discovered that, within the north-central a part of the state, 90 % of city mud comes from dry lake beds.