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Severe storms cause 14-car crash, strand cyclists in San Bernardino

Highway and Road Disasters
Storms cause pile-up on I-40; 40 cyclists trapped on an 8,400-foot peak

A band of severe storms in the San Bernardino County area led to a 14-car crash on Interstate 40 and left dozens of cyclists stranded on an 8,400-foot-high peak, authorities said.

A series of wind gusts created a dust storm along a stretch of Interstate 40 near Newberry Springs at 10:18 a.m., leading 10 tractor-trailers and four passenger cars to collide there, said Capt. John Wilkins, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

“It literally went to zero visibility, units on scene couldn’t see each other once they arrived," he said.

Nine people were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries, and a stretch of I-40 was shut down for nearly two hours, Wilkins said.

Two hours later, a group of about 40 cyclists competing in the Tour de Big Bear became trapped on the Onyx Summit, an 8,443-foot peak, when a storm band came  through the area around 12:30 p.m., Wilkins said.

Riders complained of hyopthermia and severe cramping, but rescue teams were able to transport them back to the starting line.

No one was seriously hurt or hospitalized, and roughly 2,000 riders completed the course, Wilkins said.

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