Blinding dust storm sweeps through San Bernardino causing large traffic collision, California

Blinding dust storm sweeps through San Bernardino causing large traffic collision, California

A blinding dust storm has swept through San Bernardino County, California on March 28, 2016, causing a large traffic collision and leaving 28 people injured, including 1 in critical condition.

According to San Bernardino County Fire Department, the collision occurred about 15:20 PDT (22:20 UTC) in Lucerne Valley, near California 18 and Rabbit Springs Road. 

"First arriving units reported 10 vehicles and 2 tractor trailers involved. Crews also reported blowing dust in the area causing zero visibility. While conducting initial patient assessment several more collisions occurred resulting in more injuries," SPCoFD reported.

Image credit: SBCoFD

With additional vehicles now involved, County Fire declared a mass casualty incident, which dispatched additional paramedic engines, chief officers and numerous additional ground ambulances to the scene. The initial patient count was approximately 30 injured, most of which were walking wounded.

Only 3 patients required transport, one of which sustained major injuries and was transported by ground ambulance to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Two other patients were transported to St. Marys in Apple Valley.

County Fire responded with 4 paramedic engine companies, 1 paramedic ambulance, 1 battalion chief and 2 division chiefs for a total of 17 personnel. Several AMR ambulances also assisted.

Image credit: SBCoFD

A high-wind advisory was in effect for the Apple and Lucerne valleys until 03:00 PDT Tuesday, and forecasters anticipated sand and dust blowing in the evening and overnight.

Featured image credit: SBCoFD


claire 7 months ago

Attributing the dust storm to the city San Bernardino is incorrect. San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. and covers a huge area. Lucerne Valley, Apple Valley are north of San Bernardino on the other side of the 5,000+ mountain range that harbors Lake Arrowhead etc. The Lucerne area is a high desert and off road driving, construction has destroyed the natural covering of the desert - the desert pan. As a result there are dust storms similar to those hitting Phoenix. Drought and destruction of the desert have predictably brought samd storms to Phoenix and Lucerne Valley similar to those in Oklahoma in 1930s.

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