Six people were killed and numerous others were injured in a 25-vehicle accident caused by a dust storm Monday on Interstate 10 in southwestern New Mexico.
New Mexico State Police responded to the multi-vehicle crash on I-10 westbound along the outskirts of Lordsburg at around 5:15 p.m. Monday.
NMSP public information officer Carl Christiansen said in a news release that the 25-car pileup occurred when hazardous weather conditions abruptly moved in, causing a dust storm that limited visibility within the area.
Police said six people were killed in the pileup, five at the scene and one who succumbed to injuries after being transported to nearby medical facilities.
The deceased were identified as Jose Manuel Clemente, 77, and Maurella Clemente Munoz, 38, both of El Paso, Jose Elias Caraveo-Serrano, 30, Susana Caraveo, 29, Julissa Caraveo, 9 months, all of Phoenix, and Josefina Silva, 47, of Escondido, California.
Police said numerous other people were also injured. Some were treated on scene, and others were transported to Mimbres Memorial Hospital and the Gila Regional Medical Center, authorities said.
The vehicles involved were commercial motor vehicles, passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
NMSP officers worked throughout Monday night to ensure that additional crashes would not occur. State police said they have been working in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Public Safety on further traffic control on scene and accident reconstruction.
The NMSP said given the topographical nature of the area, when high winds pass through, dust and debris pick up swiftly in the air, limiting the visibility to zero, often with little to no warning. Signage along the interstate warns drivers of this possibility.
The National Weather Service in Santa Teresa released a Hazardous Weather Outlook at 11:24 a.m. Tuesday in Lordsburg, warning that the blowing dust could pose a serious travel threat.
Police said I-10 has been re-opened in both directions. The crash remains under investigation.