Windy weather caused 4 crashes on HWY. 86

Sand blowing from strong wind caused zero visibility Wednesday

THERMAL/MECCA, Calif. - Multiple cars crashed on Hwy. 86 near Thermal/Mecca due to extreme winds, blowing sand and limited visibility, according to CHP.

Authorities said four crashes happened between 62nd Avenue and 72nd Avenue from 12:10 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The first two accidents occurred on the southbound side of Hwy. 86 and the last two happened while drivers were traveling northbound.

The first three rear-ending incidents involved two cars each, according to Officer Mike Radford with CHP.

The final crash involved a CHP patrol vehicle that was unoccupied in the right-hand lane of northbound traffic. Radford said a CHP sergeant had stopped and signaled his emergency lights as he was helping with another crash.

As the sergeant was helping the people involved in the collision in front of his car, a tractor trailer collided with his vehicle.

Fortunately nobody was injured in any of the accidents on Hwy. 86.

CHP issued a SIG ALERT following the crashes to shut down all lanes of the highway as a safety precaution. 

Southbound traffic was diverted from the highway at 62nd Avenue. Drivers traveling northbound on Hwy. 86 were advised to exit at 81st Avenue and use Harrison as an alternate route.

CAL Fire was also at the scene.

CHP advises that whenever conditions make it difficult to maintain control of a vehicle, drivers should exit the roadway and find a place of safety until the conditions subside.

In addition to problems on the road, some flights bound for Palm Springs International Airport are being diverted to LAX due to windy conditions.

A wind advisory has been issued for the Coachella Valley until 11 a.m. Thursday.

4 collisions on HWY. 86 from extreme wind, blowing sand

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