At least two people were injured in a crash Wednesday morning that involved six tractor-trailer trucks and at least one car as light snow coated a stretch of Interstate 80 in Nevada near the California border, causing "icy conditions," emergency officials said.
Nevada State Police reported the two people hurt in the crash in the eastbound lanes of I-80 in Verdi, Nev., near Grand Ranch, suffered minor injuries. Verdi is located near the Nevada-California border and is located about 10 miles west of Reno.
The collision shut down a portion of I-80 and caused significant traffic back-ups stretching into California. Emergency officials were detouring traffic and cautioning motorists to avoid the highway for several hours. Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue officials said lengthy delays were expected to last throughout the morning as emergency crews worked to clear the accident scene.
Authorities did not say what caused the collisions, but Truckee Meadows fire officials said particular section of I-80 had a light dusting of snow on the pavement and was slick when the crash occurred around 5:45 a.m. PDT. Another crash occurred several miles west along I-80 just before sunrise around 7:20 a.m. PDT, according to authorities. It was unclear if anyone was injured.
Temperatures in the area were hovering around the freezing mark at the time of the crashes, according to the National Weather Service. A Nevada Department of Transportation weather station at Gold Ranch recorded 30 degrees around 6 a.m. local time
"There was a strong cold front that moved in yesterday afternoon into the evening that brought bursts of heavy snow," said David Houk, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather. "Areas of lighter snow lingered overnight into this morning with subfreezing temperatures that resulted in slick conditions, including areas of ice as wet areas froze solid."