Dust Storm Leads To Multiple Deaths In Montana


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Six people, including two children, died Friday evening in a multi car pileup caused by a dust storm in Montana.

No other factors were found that could have contributed to the pileup that injured eight people and killed six outside of the Hardin area, according to The Associated Press. “Everything is indicative of an isolated extreme weather event,” Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jay Nelson said, according to the outlet, “What could people do? It really was just panic.”

Twenty-one vehicles, including six commercial semi-trucks, were involved in the collision, fueled by 60 mph winds that created a zero-visibility event, The AP continued. The crash is among the worst Nelson has seen in his almost quarter-century long career, the outlet noted.

More information will be released as it becomes available, according to a post shared by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen. “My prayers are with everyone affected by the tragic events during the dust storm in Big Horn County today,” he noted in the statement. (RELATED: Several People Risk Lives To Pull Man From Burning Car After Driver Suffers ‘Medical Episode’)

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of a mass casualty crash near Hardin. Please join me in prayer to lift up the victims and their loved ones. We’re grateful to our first responders for their service,” Republican Montana Gov. Gianforte wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. Montana has been hit by a series of devastating weather events in recent months, including a “statewide disaster due to flooding,” in June.