FLAGSTAFF - Nearly 140 vehicles were involved in a series of collisions in heavy, blinding snow on a northern Arizona interstate Sunday afternoon, leaving two people dead and 10 others seriously injured.
The wrecks forced closure of a 20-mile stretch of Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff for nearly 15 hours. Eastbound lanes were reopened at 2.45 a.m. Monday and the westbound lanes were reopened a couple of hours later.
Flagstaff Fire Department Chief Mark Wilson says the low visibility caused about 20 collisions, which occurred over a stretch of highway at least 4 miles long around noon.
He described the wrecks as clumps of vehicles piled on top of each other, involving cars, trucks and semis.
Wilson said two people died, and 15 people had to be removed from vehicles with hydraulic equipment and hand tools.