Last Tuesday there was another multi-vehicle dust storm accident on Interstate 5. It occurred in Kern County near Bakersfield on October 13, 2009 during rush-hour traffic. The initial report indicates that a total of 11 vehicles were involved, 6 of which caught fire. At least 3 deaths resulted with several others being transported to local hospitals. The nearest trauma center, Kern Medical Center, is located in Bakersfield. Apparently strong winds had kicked up dust thereby reducing visibility. It is yet to be determined which of the vehicles may have been traveling at unsafe speeds for these conditions. The CHP will assign a Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) to this incident. MAIT team reports for accidents of this complexity may take 6-9 months or even up to a year for completion. Issues to be investigated include the sequence of each impact, data available from the vehicle black boxes (event data recorders), whether any big rig driver was operating outside of his permissible duty hours, etc.
10 or 15 years ago a major dust storm on I-5 involved over 100 vehicles and was caused in part by drought-like conditions and farming practices which threw up dust that soon overwhelmed the drivers. The lawyers of the law firm of Nelson & Rozier were involved in the last I-5 dust storm litigation which became very complex. Their offices are located in Visalia which is about 70 or 80 miles from the scene of this accident. Please contact Attorney John Rozier if you would like us to get busy on this case. [email protected] Please also review our website at /.