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Wednesday, October 30, 2013



Do you believe in Fate, Karma, Coincidences, Grace of God or Guardian Angels? I do and I believe yesterday is positive proof of them being in our lives. It happened yesterday and the more I think about it the more I know it to be true.

We left Deming, NM earlier than we usually leave a place heading to our next destination. We stopped twice at rest areas for a break before getting into Tucson. Deb Baker had told us the night before there was construction on interstate ten and to expect delays. So I wanted to get through Tucson before mid afternoon and the rush hour. I had forgotten Arizona does not do daylight saving time so we would not have had a problem even if we left Deming later than usual.

We got through Tucson without any problem; some slow down due to the construction but nothing significant. We were around Picacho Peak when I could see a dust cloud just blowing across the interstate. There was a freight train running alongside us and I was watching it, but when I saw the dust cloud I radioed back to Sarah, she was following me in the car, and asked if she saw the dust. She said she did. I was concerned but I also saw it was going to be across the road before we got to it, so I was not too worried.

It was not more than five minutes when I heard and saw a state trooper heading the other direction with lights and siren on; I counted four of them within a few minutes of each other. I thought to myself there must have been a bad accident; I did not even thinking about a dust storm causing it, http://azstarnet.com/news/local/dead-in--vehicle-pileup-on-i--near-picacho/article_8c66c1e4-91c3-51e5-b0cb-488425a55b50.html.

If you cannot link to story here it is:

"3 dead in 19-vehicle pileup on I-10 near Picacho Peak


I-10 Picacho Accident

Photos by Ron Medvescek / Arizona Daily Star

A crash investigator — one of many at the scene — checks one of the heavily damaged cars caught in the pileup on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak. As many as seven tractor-trailers also were involved in the chain-reaction crash at midday.

2013-10-30T00:00:00Z 3 dead in 19-vehicle pileup on I-10 near Picacho PeakBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

6 hours ago  •  By Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star


Three people were killed in a 19-vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak on Tuesday after a swift moving dust storm passed through the area, authorities said.

The chain-reaction crash north of Tucson involved up to seven tractor-trailer rigs, and the rest were passenger vehicles, said Bart Graves, a Department of Public Safety spokesman.

The interstate was shut down for hours.

The pileup was reminiscent of a crash along the same stretch of highway in October 2011 that killed one man and injured 15.

In Tuesday’s pileup, “there were crunched vehicles between semis, and you can’t tell they were vehicles,” Graves said.

“Vehicles rolled onto the side of the highway following the impact of the crash,” he said.

The pileup occurred at 12:30 p.m. when a dust storm moved in. It subsided about 15 minutes later, said Graves.

“Winds were at 29 mph, and there was zero visibility,” Graves said.

Dozens of DPS officers were called to the crash site and closed the interstate’s westbound and eastbound lanes in order to get officers and medical crews to the scene.

Three helicopters took patients to the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, and Phoenix’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center.

At least 12 were injured, according to The Associated Press. Graves could not confirm how many were injured. He did say the injuries ranged from serious to critical.

One of the dead was identified as Gordon Lee Smith, 76, of Mead, Wash., Graves said. He said the identities and hometowns of the other two may be released today.

“We are trying to piece together the actual chain of events that caused this crash,” said Graves.

The interstate had up to six miles of backed-up traffic through the afternoon into Tuesday night as DPS officers investigated the pileup.

The Picacho Peak area is prone to dust storms that develop suddenly and can quickly reduce visibility to zero for drivers.

The area has farms and ranches, and agriculture is a factor in dust pollution.

The National Weather Service had issued a blowing-dust advisory shortly before the pileup, with wind gusts of up to 30 mph reported in the area.

DPS officials recommend that motorists caught in dust storms slow down, exit the highway at the nearest off-ramp and get as far away from the road as possible.

Motorists should turn off their vehicles’ lights and remain in the vehicle with seat belts fastened.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@azstarnet.com or 573-4104."

If we had been five to ten minutes later we could have been in the wreck or at the very least been sitting on the road for hours. We watched the local news at nine last night and the westbound lanes were still not open.

So, bottom line I believe our guardian angels were working overtime making sure we were through the area before this dust storm caused its mayhem. We are very thankful we made it safely to Mesa.

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