A sandstorm in Utah reduced the visibility leading to a series of crashes on I-15 which left 7 people dead and many severely injured.

According to the authorities, a sandstorm in Utah particularly in Milliard county reduced the visibility on the highway which resulted in a series of crashes of up to 20 vehicles resulting in casualties.

The Utah Department of Public Service (DPS) stated that the crashes took place near Kanosh on the I-15. The authorities transferred the injured to nearby hospitals immediately. According to the hospital officials, many of the injured were in critical condition and the death toll may rise.

The press release by the Utah Department of Public Service (DPS) stated that “it appears that 20 vehicles were involved in the crashes after high winds caused sand or dust storm and impaired visibility on the roadway.” According to the press release, nearby Beaver and Richfield counties were summoned to assist in air ambulances and ground ambulances to transfer the victims and injured to the hospitals.

Sandstorm in Utah causes deadly crash on I-15 leaving 7 dead
Source: nytimes.com

The crashed vehicles include tractors, trailers and passenger cars, and SUVs. The crash site showed a horrific image of the accident with the debris from the damaged vehicles littering the highway for yards. One of the passenger vehicles had a passenger door ripped off completely.

Intersection 15 was closed from both directions after the crash to clear the debris. The incident took place near Kanosh which is about 155 miles from Salt Lake City.

According to the weather updates, a strong thunderstorm is expected to pass from Kanosh which will be accompanied by strong winds as the sandstorm decays on its own.

The Utah highway patrol stated that the strong winds started to blow in the early evening between the region of Meadow and Kanosh which resulted in a massive sandstorm, causing the visibility to decrease to almost zero.

One of the passersby stated that the visibility was so bad that nobody could see anything and people started to stop their vehicles, which resulted in a chain reaction. As visibility was almost zero, all of a sudden the vehicles slammed into each other making the situation more horrific.

After the sandstorm, strong windy gushes of about 51-mph were recorded by the meteorologists.

The highway was closed at parts and was termed as “active”. Moreover, Northbound I-15 has partially reopened, however, southbound I-15 will remain closed for a couple of hours.