3 Hurt in head-on crash in Surprise

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Three people were injured in a head-on wreck in Surprise Tuesday morning.

It happened just before 7 a.m. on Grand Avenue (U.S. 60) approaching Loop 303.

According to Officer Bob Bailey with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, several people had reported a vehicle going the wrong way in the area shortly before the crash.

Bailey said the driver of a green 2000 Ford Expedition was traveling east on U.S. 60 when the vehicle crossed the center line and sideswiped a 2003 gray Hyundai and a 2010 Toyota Prius before colliding head-on with a white 1999 Buick sedan.

Sam Gifford was in a car right behind the one that was hit head-on.

"A Ford Expedition passed into our lane and ricocheted off a car in front of them, and then head-on collision right into them," he said. "I thought they were dead."

Two medical helicopters were called out to the scene.

John Pearlstein, 17, of Surprise, was the lone occupant of the Expedition. He sustained serious but non life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to St Joseph's Hospital for treatment.

The driver of the Buick was flown to John C. Lincoln North Mountain with serious but non life-threatening injuries. The male passenger in the Buick was transported by ambulance to Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries.

The cause and other factors of the crash are under investigation.

"We did receive citizen reports that Pearlstein's vehicle was traveling at a higher rate of speed prior to the crash and our investigators are looking into those witness statements," Bailey said.

Westbound Grand Avenue was closed from Sunrise Boulevard to Loop 303 for a time. It has since reopened.