Woman dies after impaired driver causes chain reaction crash

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By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

PEORIA, Ariz. - Police are continuing their investigation into what turned out to be a fatal accident at a busy Peoria intersection on Saturday afternoon.

Peoria police say James Grunert, 40, was the impaired driver behind the wheel of a Lincoln Navigator that rear ended the vehicle driven by Kathleen Petrotta, 64, of Surprise.

Petrotta was stopped at a red light in a gold sedan when the initial impact occurred.

The initial collision led to a chain reaction crash involving a total of four vehicles and closed the intersection of 83rd Avenue and Union Hills Drive for much of the afternoon.

Petrotta died of her injuries at the hospital a few hours later.

Another driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and is expected to be okay.

Grunert possibly faces charges of driving under the influence. Peoria police await the results of a blood test to determine Grunert's exact charges.

Petrotta was very involved with the Red Cross, helping to operate Emergency Communications Response Vehicles during disasters. She and husband Peter, were also involved members at Access Church in Peoria.