DPS hands full as blowing dust sparks crashes on I-10 near Phoenix

 Thursday, October 10, 2013

 CBS 5 News

Multiple crashes blocked eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 near Casa Grande Wednesday afternoon, the Arizona Department of Transportation said.Traffic got by on the shoulder but was backed up for miles. The crashes piled up as a dust storm warning was posted for northwest and north central Pinal County until 7 p.m. With all the wicked weather, DPS officers throughout the county had their hands full. CBS 5 News rode along with Capt. Brian Preston as he managed multiple crashes throughout the Casa Grande area. "Fortunately, so far everything has been minor injuries. That’s just by chance," he said. Preston said the low-level winds whip up dust that can cross highways and create blinding conditions. Unlike flooded roads, most drivers simply continue through, despite the dangers. "The key to making (dusty weather driving) safer is to look at a dust event the same we do as a flood. When you look down the road and see water crossing the road, you don’t drive into it," said Preston.