Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Several Injured, 1 Killed in 27-Vehicle Nevada Sandstorm Pileup

sandstorm1

Twenty-seven vehicles slammed into each other during a sandstorm that blinded drivers on Interstate 80 in rural northern Nevada, killing a truck driver, seriously injuring several other people and sapping already thin emergency resources, officials said.

Humboldt County sheriff's dispatchers called in virtually every medical, law enforcement and fire worker in the sparsely populated area after drivers reported "near-apocalyptic" conditions Monday evening on I-80 at Winnemucca, according to officials at Humboldt General Hospital there. A mine rescue crew also assisted, while a charter bus helped transport victims.

The pileup shut down the east-west corridor, a major trucking route, in both directions while workers cleared the scene of wrecked vehicles and debris. One side reopened after 19 hours, while the other remained closed early Tuesday afternoon.

Chicago resident Ravi Dyer, 51, was killed when his truck rear-ended another commercial vehicle in the zero-visibility conditions, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol. Two other trucks hit his from behind, seriously injuring his passenger.

Humboldt General Hospital spokeswoman Nicole Maher said 26 people were treated at the hospital, including three in critical condition who were later transferred to a hospital in much-larger Reno, about 160 miles away.

High winds at about 5 p.m. Monday whipped up dust — possibly loose from recently cleared fields — and created whiteout-like conditions, authorities said. Vehicles, including semitrailers, passenger cars and a tow truck piled up in both directions.

Images from the scene showed crunched-up vehicles, at least one overturned SUV, and damaged big rigs with their loads spilling onto the road. Maher said Tuesday that it took about 3 1/2 hours to extricate one person from a vehicle.

Traffic was still being diverted more than 12 hours later, troopers said.

Hospital officials said the emergency response included some unusual helpers. The Winnemucca Police Department brought in a police transport vehicle, and the Coach America charter bus company sent a vehicle to transport victims.

A mine rescue crew from Newmont Mining Corp. assisted, Maher said, along with the entire emergency room and operating room teams at the 52-bed Winnemucca hospital.

Incident Commander Ken Whittaker also praised officials from Humboldt County who brought in water trucks and helped quell the brown dust so emergency crews could help the victims.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

Arkansas Couple Dies Saving Daughter from Tornado

Twister flips trailer over as parents shield 18-month old daughter with their bodies.

Second Major Earthquake Hits Nepal

Rescuers move out to search for victims after a magnitude-7.3 earthquake hits Kathmandu region.

New D.C. Fire Chief Faces New Delayed Ambulance Investigation

DCFEMS Chief Gregory Dean and Emergency Management Director Chris Geldart apologize for ambulance delay.

Google Confirms Self-Driving Car Accidents

Cars have been involved in 11 accidents since experiment began.

Medical Helicopter Lawsuits on the Rise

Patients face hard-edge legal tactics as companies try to gain reimbursement.

Paramedics Resuscitate Man Rescued in New York Fire

One person was pulled unconscious from inside a boarding house fire in Buffalo.

Features by Topic

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers