The fatal collisions occurred around 4:30 p.m. outside the community of Kanosh, according to a statement from the Utah Highway Patrol. Police said strong winds obscured the road with wind and dust at the time, causing the crash.
Twenty-two vehicles were involved in the accident, including several semi-trailers.
Several children were among the dead, Sgt. Cameron Rhoden told local broadcaster KUTV. Ten people were taken to hospital.
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“We have vehicles everywhere,” Rhoden said. “Several vehicles tried to exit the road. We have vehicles that have turned to the side.
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The photos show several broken vehicles strewn around an 18-wheeled line on the highway. A semi-trailer appears to have completely destroyed the right rear part of a red sedan.
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Rhoden added that one of the vehicles was towing a trailer and the trailer was “pretty much completely destroyed”.
The victims were transported to hospital by air and ground ambulances after the accident. Police did not identify any of the victims.
Police diverted traffic around the scene as they begin their investigation, which is expected to take some time.
– with files from the Associated Press