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Three people killed, more than 12 injured in multiple crashes near Picacho Peak

Ina Ronquillo, Liz Kotalik, Sasha Loftis, Simone Del Rosario

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Three people killed, more than 12 injured in multiple crashes near Picacho Peak

CREATED Oct. 29, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 29, 2013

PICACHO PEAK, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Interstate 10 has reopened following Tuesday's 19 car accident near Picacho Peak that left three people dead and more than 12 injured.

The crashes are believed to be related to blowing dust. They occurred between milepost 214 and 216, ADOT Public Information Officer Tom Hermann said.

The Associated Press identifies one of the three dead as 77-year-old Gordon Lee Smith.  They reported his wife injured in the crash as well. Her condition isn't available yet. 

The names of the other two victims have not been released, because their families haven't been notified yet.

"Oh my goodness," Joyce Bartol exclaimed. "There had to be 30 emergency vehicles there and there were stretchers all over the roadways."

At least one dozen people are injured, and emergency crews brought eight of them to University of Arizona Medical Center. Of those eight patients, two are in critical condition, one has been upgraded to good condition, and two others have been released.

Drivers looking for an alternate route from the Tucson area may take State Route 77 north to State Route 79 north to State Route 287 west to State Route 87 north to State Route 587 south to reconnect with I-10.

Travelers from the Phoenix area may use SR 587 north to SR 87 south to SR 287 east to SR 79 south to SR 77 south into the Tucson area.

Drivers are advised to stay alert because strong winds can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility due to blowing dust, especially in desert areas, said Hermann.

"You couldn't see two cars ahead of you and it was orange and hazy," said Maranda Flynn, who drove past the wreck. 

Stay with KGUN and KGUN9.com for the latest updates on this multiple vehicle collision.

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