Dust Storm Turns Deadly

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 9:37am

Storm blamed for pile-ups on Arizona highways.

One person is dead following a 16 car pile-up near Picacho, Arizona.

The crash was triggered by a massive dust storm as it blew into the area.

A 70-year-old man died in the accident.

Five people were also taken to University Medical Center in Tucson for treatment.

17 others received minor injuries.

Patrick Calhoun with Avra Valley Fire Department was one of the first responders on scene.

"You show up you can't see anything you can barely see 20 feet in front of you. You do the best you can. You rely on your training," he said.

"I think the geographics of the area make the wind like a funnel in the area causing it to all the dust," said Carrick Cook, Public Information Officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. "Being in the desert dust is just everywhere. But in this particular area the winds get picked up in this part of the year and it just happens to be a really windy part of the year."

This is the third major pileup on this stretch of road due to a dust storm since August.

Authorities closed the interstate for most of the afternoon Monday.

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