Woman dead, DPS officer and civilian hurt in crash on Loop 101

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Officer Eric Lamb By Jennifer Thomas Officer Eric Lamb By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A woman is dead and two other people, one of them a Department of Public Safety officer, are hurt after the woman lost control of her car and hit a stopped DPS patrol car on Loop 101 Pima Freeway early Wednesday morning.

It happened at about 3 a.m. on the southbound side of the freeway at the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway.

Southbound Loop 101 was closed in the area, as were the ramps from eastbound and westbound Loop 202 to the southbound 101. Those closures were lifted by 9:30 a.m.

The woman, 49-year-old Deborah Jean St. Dennis 49 of Vail, Arizona, reportedly was driving erratically when she lost control of her vehicle and plowed into the back of DPS patrol car that was parked on the shoulder of the freeway. The impact caused both vehicles to roll.

Officer Eric Lamb, a DPS veteran of nearly nine years, was finishing a report from an unrelated accident. He had a civilian observer with him.

The 49-year-old officer was seriously injured but managed to get out of the vehicle on his own. His civilian observer, Richard L. Jones, of Kentucky, suffered less serious injuries.

Another driver called 911 to report the woman's erratic driving when she was still on Loop 202 heading for the 101.

"They reported that the driver was all over the road, making erratic lane changes, swerving," DPS Officer Carrick Cook said.

Link: Phoenix Traffic app