Six killed in New Mexico highway crash during dust storm

by Reuters
Friday, 23 May 2014 17:58 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 23 (Reuters) - Six people were killed in a crash of seven vehicles caught in a fast-moving dust storm on a remote stretch of highway in New Mexico, an area where such weather events are a seasonal hazard, a state police spokesman said on Friday.

The crash evening near the town of Lordsburg caused a section of freeway to be closed until Friday morning, said Captain Robert Gomez of the New Mexico State Police.

Three semi-tractor trailers, three passenger vehicles and a motor home were involved in the chain reaction crash on Thursday evening in the eastbound lane of Interstate 10, he said.

The vehicles got caught in a blinding dust storm, and one motorist slowed down, leading to the fatal chain reaction, Gomez said. Six people were killed, he said.

"It was a fast moving dust storm caused by gusts that was bringing in thunderstorms into the area, causing zero visibility," Gomez said.

Southern New Mexico is notorious for blinding spring dust storms, and the state highway department has warning signs throughout the region warning of the danger.

(Reporting by Joseph J. Kolb in Albuquerque, Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Gunna Dickson)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.