Authorities say a sudden, blinding sandstorm contributed to a deadly 27-vehicle pileup on Interstate 80 that claimed the life on one truck driver and injured 33 others. The Nevada Highway Patrol has reported that when a large dust storm blew through, visibility dropped to zero.
The incident occurred at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon on I-80 near mile marker 175 in Nevada. A statement from the Nevada Highway Patrol says that 8-9 vehicles crashed on the eastbound side of I-80, and 17-18 vehicles crashed in the westbound lanes of I-80.
Both the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-80 were closed until Tuesday morning, while investigators worked to remove the wreckage and investigate the scene.
Nevada Highway Patrol confirmed one fatality. 51-year-old truck driver Ravi Dyer was driving his truck on westbound I-80 when the dust storm struck. Investigators believe that because of the sudden blinding storm, Dyer couldn’t see that the truck in front of him had stopped. Dyer slammed into the stopped truck, and two other trucks then hit Dyer’s truck from behind. Dyer’s truck was sandwiched between the trucks. Dyer died at he scene. His passenger (whose name has not yet been released) sustained severe injuries.
In total, 33 motorists sustained non-life threatening injuries. Three motorists sustained severe injuries and were flown to area hospitals.