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West Texas Dust Storm Causes Major Accidents

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The Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) reported that a severe dust storm close to Lubbock caused multiple accidents early in the afternoon on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. There were 23 vehicles involved in the chain-reaction pileup injuring some 17 people and killing one.

TDPS Cpl. John Gonzalez said that the visibility was so bad that “you couldn’t see past the hood of your vehicle.” Winds with gusts of 55 miles per hour or so stirred up the sand and dust from dry fields making it impossible to see the stopped vehicles already involved in accidents on the southbound side of I-27. He said that there were a series of collisions that happened simultaneously in “domino fashion”, when drivers’ visibility went to zero.

One man was killed when his SUV rear-ended an 18 wheeler that had been involved in an accident. Some 17 other people were injured in the crashes but none of them were serious or life threatening. The majority of the injured people were taken to the University Medical Center in Lubbock for treatment and then released.

The accidents and the visibility concerns caused the TDPS to close I-27 in either direction for about five miles from Abernathy to New Deal for six hours. Once the interstate was opened to traffic, a TDPS bulletin was released warning of the dangerous driving conditions between Lubbock and Amarillo.

Landowners were being advised to plow their fields so that the loose sand would not blow off so easily during wind storms, after the prolonged drought.

This is the second major interstate pileup in Texas in the last thirty days. The other occurred on Thanksgiving Day just west of Beaumont, Texas. The cause of that massive chain-reaction accident was fog, resulting in near zero visibility at around 9:00 a.m. Some 150 vehicles were involved in that series of accidents that injured more than 100 people and killing two, when their SUV was crushed by an 18 wheeler.


If you or your family members are involved in a massive pileup like either of these two recent chain-reaction accidents, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney who is experienced in handling major car and truck accidents.

Handling these multi-vehicular collisions is very complex. In addition to there being many insurance companies involved, there are just as many theories about liability. One thing you can be assured of is the trucking companies involved will have their own risk management team out at the scene, right along with the TDPS or whatever other police department is investigating. Consequently, it is important to have an experienced team on your side in cases like this.

Carabin & Shaw is a San Antonio based law firm which for the last 20 years, has represented thousands of Texans throughout the state who have suffered disabling injuries or lost loved ones in massive accidents. We have offices throughout the state for your convenience.

Contact us online or call us direct at (800) 862-1260 to talk to one of our experienced attorneys about your case. Remember, you will never owe us a fee unless we get you a recovery.

Other Resources:

Lubbock, Texas Dust Storm 2012 Triggers Car Crashes On Interstate 27, The Huffington Post, December 19, 2012
Related Blog Posts:

Thanksgiving Day Pileup: Deadly Evidence of Accidents At Interstate Speeds , Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, December 3, 2012
Last Day Without A Fatality On Texas Roads Was 12 Years Ago , Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, November 9, 2012