High winds of up to 70 miles per hour are being blamed for knocking over six big rigs along Interstate 10 near Phoenix on Wednesday, leaving one person dead and a second person injured.
KTAR News in Phoenix reports that the rollover crash was the result of monsoon season winds. The National Weather Service issued a significant weather advisory on Wednesday night on its Twitter feed for Northeastern Yuma and Maricopa Counties for thunderstorms and winds exceeding 40 miles per hour. The NWS issued a statement indicating that the trucks had been caught in a wind downburst in the area with wind speeds between 50 and 70 miles per hour.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety indicated that the downed trucks had been hauling box-type trailers when the downburst wind happened at approximately 8:00 p.m. near Tonopah. Two of the six overturned big rigs rolled over in the westbound lanes while the other four were in the eastbound lanes at the time.
DPS investigators have identified the deceased truck driver as Ronald Dale Huff, 69 of Eugene, Oregon. A second truck driver was also injured in a rollover. His identity and condition have not been released at this time.
Drivers on Interstate 10 in both directions experienced traffic delays. Eastbound drivers were able to get around the overturned big rigs by using the shoulder, while westbound drivers had one lane open. The accident was cleared by sunrise on Thursday morning.