Speed, alcohol possibly factors in deadly wreck on U.S. 60 in Mesa

Posted: Updated:

MESA, Ariz. -- One person was killed in an early morning single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 60 Tuesday.

It happened at about 2:45 a.m. in the eastbound lanes near Mesa Drive. The freeway was closed between Mesa and Stapley drives while emergency crews took care of the victims and the investigation got under way.

According to the Department of Public Safety, a Ford half-ton van was heading east when it began drifting to the right across other lanes. The van slammed into a guard rail, ejecting the driver Daniel Branigan, 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

There was a passenger in the van, Cash Murphy, 28, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn and is expected to recover.

DPS said the van was traveling quite fast when it hit the guard rail. Investigators suspect impairment might have been a factor in the wreck, but it will be some time before they can confirm that.

Three of the eastbound lanes were reopened to traffic about three hours later even though emergency and cleanup crews will still on the scene. The freeway was reopened completely about an hour after that.