Semi's flat tire on freeway spawns fatal crash

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- One man is dead after a late-night wreck on Interstate 10, and investigators say a flat tire is to blame.

It happened at about 11 p.m. on eastbound I-10 near State Route 143.

According to ADOT, a semi got a flat tire. Rather than pulling over to the side of the freeway, the two men stopped in the roadway, got out of the crippled vehicle and went over to the shoulder.

A man in an SUV did not see the truck and plowed into it. He died at the scene. At this point, investigators have not released any information about the victim.

The freeway was closed for hours overnight while investigators worked the scene and crews cleared the wreck. It re-opened shortly before 4 a.m.

The two men in the semi have not been identified, but authorities say they will be cited in connection with the deadly crash.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the pair was cited Tuesday as they crossed into Arizona from California. Officials did not say what sparked that citation.

DPS and ADOT say this kind of wreck is a reminder for drivers to pull over to the right, as far as possible off the roadway, if they run into problems like a flat or engine trouble. If you can, DPS says getting off the freeway is the best course of action, although it's not always possible.

Safety experts say hazard lights are helpful during the day, but confusing to other drivers at night. They also suggest you try to coast along until you're a safe distance away from any curves behind you and hang a piece of white cloth or paper out of your driver's side window.

Finally, DPS says you should stay in your vehicle and if you have a cell phone, you should call for help immediately so law enforcement can come keep you safe.