Crashed cars in dust storm
This accident south of Lubbock, Texas, was one of several attributed to dust storms Thursday.
updated 2/20/2004 9:30:00 AM ET 2004-02-20T14:30:00

Thick, reddish-brown dust swirled over parts of West Texas, contributing to a series of traffic accidents that killed two people and injured dozens of others.

As many as 30 vehicles crashed Thursday on U.S. Highway 84 between Southland and Post, about 20 miles southeast of Lubbock, said Cpl. John Gonzalez with the Department of Public Safety.

A New Mexico truck driver and his wife were killed in a crash that injured at least 11 others, authorities said.

Both sides of U.S. 84 were closed for several hours Thursday afternoon as authorities from several agencies worked to clear debris.

Because of poor visibility, authorities urged drivers to avoid major highways south of Lubbock until the dust subsided.

“It was terrible,” trucker Jeffery Robinson, who was caught in the storm on U.S. 84. “At times it would clear up and then you couldn’t see 50 feet because of the wind and blowing dirt.”

The National Weather Service reported gusts of 63 mph in Plains on Thursday afternoon.

“All I see is dirt right now,” said Marla Mason, who was working at a Lubbock truck stop. “It’s kind of cleared up a little. The closer you get to the cotton fields, you can’t see at all. ... It’s just been blowing all day.”

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