KANOSH, Utah (AP) — A sandstorm caused a huge 22-vehicle pileup on a Utah highway that left eight people dead, including four children, authorities said.
The Sunday afternoon crashes on Interstate 15 near the town of Kanosh came at the end of a holiday weekend for the state that often leads to increased highway traffic. At least 10 people were taken to hospitals, including three in critical condition, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Ground and air ambulances were used to transport crash victims.
The pileup occurred during a period of high winds that caused a dust or sandstorm which reduced visibility, the highway patrol said.
Five of the eight people killed were in one vehicle, while two others were in another vehicle, according to a news release. Another fatality was in a third vehicle.
Race Sawyer, 37, of Lehi, was driving his 12-year-old son Ryder, his sister-in-law Kortni Sawyer, 30, of St. George, and Sawyer’s children 2-year-old Franki and 6-year-old Riggins.
In a second car, Richard Lorenzon, 51, was driving his wife Maricela Lorenzon, 47. Both were from Salt Lake City. A passenger in another car, 15-year-old Cameron Valentine, of Yuma, Arizona, also died, said highway patrol.
“We have vehicles all over. Several vehicles tried to swerve off the roadway. We have vehicles that are flipped up on their sides,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Rhoden told KUTV in Salt Lake City. “One of the vehicles that was pulling a trailer, the trailer has pretty much completely been destroyed and is on the freeway.”
I-15 remained partially shut down late Sunday. Traffic was redirected around the crash site.
Kanosh is located about 160 miles (258 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City.
Roadways on Sunday were full of drivers headed home after a long weekend to celebrate a state holiday recognizing Utah history and settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who trekked west in search of religious freedom.