I-17 southbound reopened at 16th Street

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Southbound Interstate 17 is now open at the I-10/I-17 “Split” interchange near Sky Harbor following this morning’s fatal collision, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The highway’s southbound lanes were closed before 5 a.m. due to a fatal car-pedestrian accident., forcing traffic to exit at 16th Street and later at Seventh Street.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves says the body of an unidentified woman was found on the freeway. He says DPS officers are speaking with the driver of a vehicle that struck the woman and that the driver won't be arrested.

Graves said DPS was first notified at 4:00 a.m. by drivers who reported hitting either a large dog or a cow.

"Upon arrival we found the body of a black female. She had been struck several times, by several vehicles," said Graves. "We're trying to figure out who this woman is. She's definitely not homeless. We just want to find out how she got on the freeway."

Initially, this was thought to be a hit-and-run, but DPS received a call from a man who said his wife hit something on the freeway while she was on her way to work but she didn't know what it was and didn't stop.

The overhead streetlight in the area where the woman was hit is not working so it was very dark along that section of the freeway.

Investigators checked out her vehicle and said she will not be charged.

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