Multi-vehicle crash on Montana highway due to dust storm kills at least 6

Multi-vehicle crash on Montana highway due to dust storm kills at least 6

July 16 (UPI) — High winds and poor visibility from a dust storm led to a multi-vehicle pileup on a Montana highway that killed at least six people and injured several others, law enforcement said.

The crash involving 15 passenger vehicles and six commercial vehicles occurred Friday on eastbound Interstate 90 near the small town of Hardin.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of a mass casualty crash near Hardin,” Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tweeted Friday night. “Please join me in prayer to lift up the victims and their loved ones. We’re grateful to our first responders for their service.”

The pileup started around 4:50 p.m., according to an incident map for the Montana Department of Transportation, prompting the closure of both eastbound lanes in Big Horn County. It detoured travel overnight, but I-90 has since reopened, highway patrol said.

Ariel Dehart told CNN when she drove by moments after the incident she saw a camper ripped open from the pileup and the driving experience was “scary.”

“The visibility was so poor and scary,” Dehart said. “The air was warm and eerie. It was like wearing sepia-colored glasses. It was so crazy.

“When I saw the ripped-open camper, my gut dropped,” she added. “But the owner just was frantically putting decorative pillows back in the camper, and it was so sad because he was obviously so in over his head with what just happened.”

The investigation is ongoing, according to Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen.

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