Blowing dust and sudden, near-zero visibilty caused five separate collisions in the same area on State Route 152 near Road 17, Monday afternoon at about 2:30 according to the Madera office of the California Highway Patrol.
One man was taken to a Fresno-area hospital with a head and neck injury. Other drivers were treated for minor injuries — cuts and bruises, and released from the scene.
A strong cold front with winds gusts as strong as 45 to 50 mph whipped nearby plowed fields into a brown cloud of fine, choking dust according to officers. Traffic on State Route 99 was affected by the dust storm all the way from Chowchilla to Madera Ranchos, with CHP units attempting to warn drivers by pacing with their lights on.
Officer Mark Cosentino said the accident scene was chaotic and cars were wrecked and spun out in every direction. As many as 10 to 12 vehicles were involved in the five pileups...