Rush-Hour Sandstorm Causes 20-Car Pileup in Lancaster

Wind gusts up to 60 mph kicked up a massive sandstorm in Lancaster Tuesday forcing the hours-long closure of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, where at least two massive pile-ups occurred, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Both sides of the 14 Freeway were closed between Avenue A and Avenue D. The shutdown began about 4:45 p.m. and ended shortly after 8 p.m.

At least six people were hurt in two separate pile-ups -- one involving 20 vehicles, the other involving five vehicles -- that were blamed on the sandstorm, CHP said.

“It’s kind of nerve-racking because it’ll blow your car over a little bit," driver Megan Lecornu said. "So I just got all the way over into the far right lane, so if I do go over, I’m going into the side instead."

An NBC4 viewer snapped a photo, pictured below, of the 14 Freeway backup and the low visibility caused by the sand storm.

The Avenue D overpass remained closed at 11:30 p.m. while investigators probed a crash involving a white car that went under a big rig. That crash happened about 8 p.m., just as the winds were slowing. CHP officials said they do not believe this crash was related to the visibility-depleting sandstorm.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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