Strong winds and blowing dust dramatically reduced visibility for drivers in Pueblo Monday afternoon, resulting in multiple crashes and snarled traffic on the interstate.
At least 20 cars were involved in crashes Monday. Seven people were taken to the hospital with injuries ranging from minor to serious.
Troopers said the situation stemmed from two semi-trucks that were involved in accidents. Those accidents then triggered other crashes.
One man who found himself caught in the middle of the chaos told 11 News he was "glad to be alive."
"Just bumps and bruises, we're blessed...it was a pretty scary moment," Matt Baumgartner said. "Obviously an opportunity to be wedged between an 18-wheeler and tanker usually doesn't turn out well."
Wind gusts clocked in at over 40 mph in the area Monday. Blowing dust made it hard for drivers to see more than 10 feet in front of them, according to State Patrol.
The crashes shut down the southbound lanes of I-25 near Pueblo Boulevard for five hours. State Patrol said some of the drivers involved may be ticketed once troopers finish their investigation.
Wind has been an issue in Pueblo for the last couple of days; the same area was also closed briefly Sunday because of multiple accidents and low visibility in the area.