Woman killed in April 5 crash on I-17 identified

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
Alberto Lopez-Ruelas, 33 By Mike Gertzman Alberto Lopez-Ruelas, 33 By Mike Gertzman
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Department of Public Safety has identified a woman killed in an accident on Interstate 17 in Phoenix the morning of April 5.

According to the DPS, 18-year-old Chelsea Barker of Maricopa was killed when she was struck by several times by southbound vehicles after being ejected from a northbound car that first struck a median wall and then was struck by another car.


Highway crash kills 1; driver arrested
Posted on April 5, 2014 at 7:14 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- A woman riding in a car on a Phoenix interstate died Saturday after a crash threw her into oncoming traffic, where she was hit by multiple vehicles, authorities said.

A driver who stopped to help was then struck by a Chevrolet Suburban but is in stable condition, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. Two other people also received injuries that were not life-threatening, and two drivers are expected to face charges in the crash, DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.

Earlier, officials said the woman who died was driving, but after further investigation she was found to be a passenger, Graves said. She was ejected from a Chevrolet Malibu going north before 5:20 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 17 near Thunderbird Road.

The female driver lost control and slammed into a median wall, and a Mercury Cougar then hit the car, Graves said. The passenger was thrown over the wall into southbound traffic, where several cars struck her, the DPS said.

The good Samaritan driver, the woman behind the wheel of the Malibu, and the driver of the Mercury all had non-life-threatening injuries, Graves said.

The driver of the Suburban that struck the good Samaritan left but returned to the scene and was cooperating with authorities, authorities said.

The Malibu driver faces a manslaughter charge, and the Suburban driver faces a felony hit-and-run charge, he said.

The driver of Suburban is 33-year-old Alberto Lopez-Ruelas, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. He is facing felony hit-and-run charges.

Anyone who sees accidents should just call 911, Graves added.

"I know it's a very strong human emotion to render aid, but think carefully," he said. "The urban freeway system at night is very dangerous all around."

Investigators have information that another passerby tried to render assistance in the moments just after the original crash. The DPS is asking for the public's help in locating the person. Anyone with information should call DPS at 602-223-2212.

The DPS has reopened both the northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 17.

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