Two people suffered critical injuries in a 30-vehicle pileup outside of Billings, Montana, on Saturday, authorities said.
The victims jumped from the Yellowstone River Bridge during the accident to avoid being hit by one of the cars, the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) tweeted. They were hospitalized and are expected to recover.
“The cause appears to be the whiteout/zero visibility conditions brought on by a sudden snow squall,” Montana Department of Justice spokesman Kyler Nerison told CNN.
Other minor injuries were reported, he added.
MHP initially said the cause of the crash was believed to be ice on the bridge.
The incident occurred on I-90 westbound near the I-94 split in Lockwood, about six miles northeast of Billings. I-90 WB was shut down until 4:30 p.m. MST starting at that split while troopers investigated the crash, Nerison said.
A special weather statement was issued by the National Weather Service in Billings early Saturday afternoon stating that a heavy line of snow showers was observed moving into the area at 15 mph. The statement warned the affected roads included I-94 and I-90 and that conditions could deteriorate rapidly.
The NWS reported light snow and mist in the Billings area since Saturday morning, with temperatures around 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the morning and a high of 32 degrees.