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August 31, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Dust storm leads to about 50 vehicles in collisions near Kennewick

The Tri-City Herald

dust storm mapKennewick — Authorities estimate about 50 vehicles were involved in multiple collisions on Interstate 82 Saturday afternoon amidst blowing dust.

Nine people were taken to Tri-City hospitals, but none had life-threatening injuries, said Capt. Devin Helland of Benton Fire District 1.

“For as many cars as were damaged and hit, it was remarkable that so few people were injured,” he said.

Most of the collisions were between the Highway 395 entrance to Interstate 82 just south of Kennewick and the Locust Grove overpass. They included cars traveling north and south.

Helland described them as mostly rear-end collisions and spin-outs that then were hit by other vehicles as dust reduced visibility.

The crashes started around 3:30 p.m. as dust blew from west of the interstate. Shortly after Benton Fire District 1 arrived on scene, the wind shifted and visibility improved, Helland said.

Law-enforcement officers and the Washington State Department of Transportation blocked traffic from entering Interstate 82.

The Washington State Patrol reported that six of the people who were injured were in a four-car collision near the Highway 395 entrance to Interstate 82 at 3:30 p.m.

Read the full Tri-City Herald story here.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: 50 vehicles, dust storm, Kennewick

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