5-Car pileup on I-10 injures several; tailgating likely cause

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A five-car pileup on Interstate 10 at 99th Avenue injured four people, one of them critically,  Wednesday morning.

It happened in the eastbound lanes approaching 99th Avenue.

Video from the scene showed debris all over the freeway, which was restricted to two lanes. Only the HOV and left lanes were getting by the scene.

Investigators with the Department of Public Safety are trying to piece together the moments leading up to the chain-reaction crashes.

They said initial indications are that the drivers involved were tailgating during the morning rush hour. One car rear-ended another, setting off a domino effect.

Emergency responders had to extricate two of the victims from their vehicles. Both patients were taken to local hospitals by ground ambulance. One of them was in critical condition.

Two more people suffered less serious injuries.

According to DPS, tailgating is "a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injury or death."

The Arizona Driver License Manual suggests drivers employ what calls the "3-6 second" rule because "[m]ost rear end crashes are caused by following too closely."

"When the vehicle ahead of you passes a certain point, such as a sign or over-pass, count 'one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three, one-thousand-four.' This takes about four seconds. If you pass the same point before you finish counting, you are following too closely," according to the manual. "At faster speeds, the distance should be greater. At times you will need more than a 3-second cushion (e.g., poor road conditions). Give yourself 3 to 6 seconds for more cushion."

Link: Phoenix Traffic app