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Dust storm triggers 15-vehicle pile-up in Lucerne Valley; 28 people injured

Dust storm triggers 15-vehicle pile-up in Lucerne Valley; 28 people injured
A dust storm triggered a large traffic collison Monday afternoon in Lucerne Valley. About 20 people were hurt, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. (San Bernardino County Fire Department)

A blinding dust storm swept through Lucerne Valley in San Bernardino County on Monday, contributing to a large traffic collision that left more than two dozen people injured.

The collision occurred about 3:20 p.m. near California 18 and Rabbit Springs Road, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

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At least 15 vehicles were involved in the crash, according to the California Highway Patrol's incident information log, but fire officials were still trying to assess the scene.

"The visibility is low -- very, very low," said Tracey Martinez, a Fire Department spokeswoman. "We don't even know how many vehicles are involved."

A total of 28 people were injured, according to Jeff Allen, a Fire Department engineer. One person was in critical condition and taken to the hospital. Another 27 people suffered minor injuries. Two of them required hospitalization, Allen said.

A high-wind advisory was in effect for the Apple and Lucerne valleys until 3 a.m. Tuesday, and forecasters anticipated sand and dust blowing in the evening and overnight.

Visibility was expected to be about a quarter of a mile, possibly less, because of the dusty winds.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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