CARLIN — Nevada Highway Patrol responded to a five-vehicle pileup in the westbound lanes of the Carlin tunnels and single vehicle crash in the eastbound lanes in a 20-minute period Sunday afternoon, said NHP Sgt. Chris Austin.
Three people were hurt, including one who was flown to Salt Lake City with broken bones, Austin said.
The six crashes involved nine vehicles: four semi-trucks and five cars.
Around 2:40 p.m. a vehicle tried to stop, but lost control in icy conditions and hit a wall. Four other vehicles reacted and either hit the tunnel walls or rear-ended other vehicles when the drivers couldn’t stop in time, Austin said.
“The tunnel was extremely icy,” Austin said.
NDOT sanded the roadway soon after the pileup, but not before a car in the eastbound lanes lost control around 3 p.m. as NHP was investigating the first pileup.
Two people had minor injuries during the incidents, including bruising and cuts, and another was flown to Salt Lake City with a broken wrist and facial lacerations, Austin said.
All drivers, except the operator of a semi who managed to stop in time but was rear-ended by a 2002 Jeep Liberty, were cited for driving too fast for conditions, Austin said.
It was not snowing at the time of the accidents.
“People have to slow down during these conditions,” Austin said. “They have to pay attention to signs, especially at the tunnels because it gets icy and can sneak up on you.”
All of the drivers and passengers involved in the crashes were wearing seatbelts, Austin said.