13 Year old boy killed in I-17 crash identified

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A 13-year-old boy was killed Monday afternoon in a collision on Interstate 17 in North Phoenix, according to Bart Graves with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

That boy was identified Tuesday as Cole Galaska of Gilbert. He was in the front seat, passenger side of the pickup truck. His dad, Richard Galaska, was driving. His 11 year old brother Aiden was in the backseat.

Investigators said the pickup truck slammed into the back of semi truck that had pulled over with a flat tire.

There were 3 vehicles involved in the incident: the pickup truck, semi truck and a tow truck.

"He's southbound and he's at the speed limit...He's driving in the exit lane," said Graves. "Some other drivers told us he's drifting. The Nissan Frontier pickup truck rear ends the rear of the semi. Shears off the pickup. The pickup then careens into the number 2 lane is struck by a tow truck."

Graves said it appears the driver of the pickup truck, Richard Galaska, made no attempt to stop.

Cole did not survive the crash. "The 13-year-old boy in the passenger seat he was deceased on scene," said Graves.

11-year-old  Aiden was taken to Phoenix Children's Hospital after being rushed to John C. Lincoln Hospital where he was stabilized.

Driver Richard Galaska had extensive injuries from the crash. He was taken to John C. Lincoln Hospital.

The father told investigators he was coming from Rock Springs and was headed home to Gilbert, Ariz when the collision occurred.

The tow truck driver was also taken to the hospital. He had non-life threatening injuries according to Graves.

The semi truck driver was not injured.

Interstate 17 southbound was reopened at about 6 p.m. after it was closed for about three hours because of the collision, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The southbound lanes were closed between Loop 303 and Happy Valley Road while crews cleaned up the crash scene.

For the most current information about highway closures and restrictions statewide, visit ADOT’s Travel Information Site at www.az511.gov, call 5-1-1, or follow @ArizonaDOT on Twitter.