UPDATE: Wrong-way driver in deadly I-17 wreck stole carPosted: Updated:
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Wrong-way driver killed on I-17 - A wrong-way driver was killed after slamming into several cars on Interstate 17 Monday night.
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UPDATE: Wednesday, May 27
Investigators said the wrong-way driver who hit three vehicles, killing himself and another driver, had stolen the car he was driving and might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The wreck happened on Interstate 17 near the Carefree Highway Monday night.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Aaron Chester Dale of Phoenix stole a Pontiac G4 from his cousin in Anthem, which is north of Phoenix.
Dale, 26, was driving south in the northbound lanes when that Pontiac plowed into three other vehicles, one of them a Lincoln Navigator carrying a family of five.
Donte Callihan was behind the wheel of that Navigator. He died at a local hospital late Monday night. Callihan's wife and three daughters were badly hurt in the wreck, but are expected to survive.
Six other people were injured in the wreck.
ORIGINAL STORY: Wrong-way driver, another killed on Interstate 17, 10 more hurt
PHOENIX -- A second person is dead after a brutal wreck caused by man driving the wrong way on Interstate 17 Monday night. Ten other people, including two young girls, were injured in that crash.
It happened at about 9:30 Monday night on I-17 near Carefree Highway.
According to the Department of Public Safety, a man identified as 26-year-old Aaron Chester Dale was driving a silver Pontiac south in the northbound lanes. The Pontiac hit three other vehicles, one of which burst into flames.
Dale was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of one of the vehicles he hit, identified as 37-year-old Donte Calihan, from Anthem, was taken to the hospital and has since died. A total of ten more people, two of them young girls who were riding in an SUV with their family, were hurt. Those two girls reportedly are in ciritcal condition.
DPS says drivers end up going the wrong direction on the freeway far more often than most people think.
"It happens quite frequently, actually," said DPS Lt. Heather Alvarez. "People just get disoriented sometimes ... we can't really determine what the cause is. I would say probably once a week, we do get what we call and attempt to locate a wrong-way driver, and usually they right themselves before we even get to them, but obviously in this case, a tragedy happened."
None of the victims' names have been released.
The freeway was closed for hours overnight, but has since re-opened.
Investigators are still trying to figure out why the Pontiac was on the wrong side of I-17.