I-10 Crashes Following Dust Storm Result In Three Deaths [Photo]

I-10 crashes caused by a dust storm in Arizona leave three motorists dead. In addition, authorities say several injuries were reported.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) stated up to six commercial vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction crash, just after noon, on Tuesday south of Casa Grande.

DPS also says several passenger cars were involved in the I-10 crashes, with one car pinned between two 18-wheelers.

Officer Carrick Cook, from the DPS stated, “We do know that there are 3 confirmed dead. We’re looking at over a dozen injuries and at least 19 vehicles involved in the crash.”

Images shown on local TV stations show many cars smashed into each other in the middle of the highway, while most of the big rigs were pulled over on the side of I-10, close to Picacho Peak between Tucson and Phoenix.

DPS officials identified one of the deceased in the I-10 crashes as George Lee Smith, 77, of Mead, Washington. His wife was also injured, however, her condition is not known.

Several of those injured were airlifted to hospitals in Tucson and Phoenix, DPS said at least one person is in critical condition.

A total of 19 vehicles, 10 commercial vehicles, seven passenger cars, one tanker, and one recreational vehicle were involved in the I-10 collisions.

The Arizona Department of Transportation Twitter account reports on Tuesday evening, that there are 10 mile back-ups in both directions at the scene of the I-10 crashes.

The official account for the DOT is also updating motorist of other areas with problems related to the accidents.

The names and hometown information of the other two deceased, have not been released.

The Picacho Peak area is prone to dust storms that develop suddenly and can quickly reduce visibility to zero for drivers, according to the Denver Post.

The National Weather Service had issued a blowing dust advisory shortly before the I-10 crashes, with wind gusts of up to 30 mph reported in the area. For the latest news visit the DOT Twitter account.

[Image courtesy of Arizona DOT/Twitter]

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