DPS: Wrong-way driver crashes on I-17

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A wrong-way driver collided with a vehicle on Interstate 17 late Saturday night, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

It happened at approximately 11:30.

DPS said it received reports of a vehicle going southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 17 at milepost 239 which is north of Phoenix near Table Mesa Road.

DPS officers responded to the area but the wrong-way driver crashed into another vehicle in the area of milepost 236.

Three people were transported to various hospitals with serious injuries but are expected to survive.

The wrong-way driver was on the interstate for about three miles before the crash, according to DPS spokesman Bart Graves.

Graves said the wrong-way driver and his passenger were both men in their 20s.

"We suspect impairment on behalf of the driver; we're testing for that," Graves said. "I can't speak for the passenger, whether he was impaired or not. We are in the early stages of this investigation."

There was a man in his 50s in the vehicle that was struck by the wrong-way driver.

This is the fourth wrong-way driving incident in the Phoenix area to be in the news this month.

Seven people - including an off-duty Mesa police officer - have died after their vehicles were hit by a motorist going the wrong direction.

"It could have been much worse," Graves said of Saturday's crash. "There's so much awareness now because of media coverage of those three fatal wrong-way involved crashes from the week before last that I think the public is very alert, which is probably a good thing, but we will continue our dedication to get these drunk drivers, these impaired drivers, off the road."

Phoenix area hit with third fatal wrong-way crash

More information as it becomes available