At least eight people were killed and several others critically injured in a multi-vehicle crash in southeastern Utah Sunday afternoon. Authorities say a sandstorm or dust storm temporarily blinded some drivers, leading to a series of crashes involving at least 22 vehicles on Interstate 15 near the town of Kanosh, Utah, which is located about 160 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Several children were among the dead, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Rhoden told CBS Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV.
In a Monday statement, Utah Highway Patrol reported five of the eight people killed in the crash were traveling in one vehicle. Two others killed were in a second vehicle. The other person was in another vehicle. It was also confirmed that four of eight the fatalities had been children under the age of 15.
"High winds caused a sand or dust storm and impaired visibility on the roadway," the Utah Department of Public Service (DPS) said in a news release. At least 10 people were transported to local hospitals, with three people in critical condition, officials said.
Image of vehicles involved in crash in Millard County, Utah. (Utah Highway Patrol)
Video of the dust storm taken from the car of a motorist who drove through a dust storm was shared on social media.
Both directions of I-15 were shut down as multiple ground and air ambulances responded to transport victims.
"We have vehicles all over. Several vehicles tried to swerve off the roadway. We have vehicles that are flipped up on their sides," Rhoden said. "One of the vehicles that was pulling a trailer, the trailer has pretty much completely been destroyed and is on the freeway."
"I can't remember in recent memory of [a crash] being this large, with this many vehicles and this many fatalities," Rhoden told KUTV News.
"We're stunned and saddened by the horrific accidents in Millard County," Utah Governor Spencer Cox tweeted Sunday night. "We fervently pray for the loved ones of those who perished and for those fighting for their lives."
The victims' names have not been released. Troopers say they will do so at least 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.
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