Six Killed in New Mexico Dust Storm Crash

Severe weather causes multiple crashes in northern part of state

 

 
 
 

| Friday, May 23, 2014


DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Six people are dead and all that remained of the several vehicles involved in a fiery crash along Interstate 10 in southwestern New Mexico were charred hunks of nearly indiscernible metal.

New Mexico State Police said the crash in Hidalgo County, several miles from the Arizona border, came as New Mexico and the region was struck Thursday afternoon by a violent storm system.

Severe weather and large hail caused multiple car wrecks in northern New Mexico on Thursday and the eastern part of the state saw damaging winds reaching more than 60 mph.

Thick dust was reported in southern New Mexico on Thursday. Signs along the stretch of the interstate where the crash happened warn of dust storms.

"A sudden dust storm that limited visibility to almost nothing caused the lead vehicle to stop suddenly, causing a chain reaction of rear-end collisions," police said in a statement issued Friday.

After the flames from Thursday's crash were doused, workers dragged all of the wreckage to the side of the road. Photographs show the burned-out shell of what was left of a car along with the twisted metal frames of several tractor trailer rigs.

Police said six people were confirmed dead in the collision. They're identities have yet to be released.

Police said Friday that three passenger vehicles, one recreational vehicle and three commercial vehicles were involved.

Police said the exact sequence of events is still under investigation.

The interstate was shut down in both directions following the crash. The road was open Friday but authorities were asking travelers that the speed limit had been reduced.

Authorities were warning travelers that more severe weather was possible for much of New Mexico through the weekend. Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected along the eastern plains and into the southeast, while dry, gusty storms were expected to move across the southwestern corner of New Mexico.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say winds of up to 60 mph are expected in the south and warned travelers not to drive into the resulting dust.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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