Dust storm blamed for major pile-up in near Kennewick

Dust storm blamed for major pile-up in near Kennewick »Play Video
BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - Officials say over 50 cars were involved in a major pile up crash. They were forced to close down I-82, just passed the SR395 connector, near the Locust Grove Road exit.

Visibility was practically down to nothing, as what's being called a huge dust storm swept across the highway.

Some drivers slowed down, causing others to slam into them.

Emergency crews from around the Tri-Cities made their way out to the scene. So far, 26-minor injuries were reported, mostly cuts, scrapes and soreness.
A total of seven people were loaded up into ambulances and taken to the hospital. Emergency responders say nobody suffered any critical injuries.

Washington State Patrol and the department of transportation quickly closed down the highway ahead of the pile-up in both directions of the highway.

They put out warnings, and lit traffic signs for drivers making their way towards the mess. They even closed down I-82 near Badger Mountain Road before it connects to SR395, trying to stop cars heading that way.

Sgt. Bob Brockman with Benton County Sheriff's said, ""The dust in the air is currently the big problem, the visibility is just about zero."

Capt. Devin Helland, with Benton County Fire District 1 said, This really wasn't expected obviously, so, don't know how long it's going to go. It's mother nature and it's hard for us to predict mother nature."

The highway was closed for over four hours as crews cleared the wreckage.