Photos: Blowing dust blamed for multi-vehicle crash on Ariz. highway

Posted: Updated:
Blowing dust likely caused a multiple vehicle crash on State Route 347 at Riggs Road near Gila River. It happened at around 1:00 p.m on Friday. By Mike Gertzman Blowing dust likely caused a multiple vehicle crash on State Route 347 at Riggs Road near Gila River. It happened at around 1:00 p.m on Friday. By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GILA RIVER, Ariz. -- The Memorial Day weekend got off to a bad start on Friday for some drivers south of the Valley.

Blowing dust likely caused a multiple vehicle crash on State Route 347 at Riggs Road near Gila River. It happened at around 1:00 p.m.

According to helicopter reporter Tammy Rose, it appeared from the air that there were at least four or five cars involved in the incident. There are reports that a couple of people were injured.

The southbound direction of the highway was restricted to one lane as emergency crews responded to the scene. That caused a long traffic backup. Drivers were also dealing with delays in the northbound lanes.

The crashes occurred at about the same time the Arizona Department of Transportation issued a travel alert. The alert stated blowing dust and reduced visibility have been reported by drivers in regions across the state.

Drivers are urged to be extra cautious as they head out on their Memorial Day Weekend travels.

[ADOT Travel Alert: Blowing Dust Possible Along Arizona Highways Today]

The National Weather Service has issued a blowing dust advisory until 8 p.m. on Friday. Strong sustained southwest winds from 20 to 35 mph, including gusts up to 50 mph are predicted. The advisory is specifically focused on the central and south-central desert regions, although high winds and blowing dust are also expected in Northern Arizona.