Baby killed in highway crash south of Phoenix

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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

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. -- A 3-month-old baby was killed when a vehicle rolled over on Saturday morning on a highway south of Phoenix, according to Officer Chris Hegstrom with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

It happened at milepost 12 on State Route 238 between Gila Bend and Maricopa.

Investigators said the baby was sitting on his mother's lap in the backseat of a Chevrolet Suburban. The baby was not restrained and the mother was not wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the Suburban lost control on a curve and overcorrected. The mother and the baby were ejected when the vehicle flipped.

The baby was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother was airlifted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix with life-threatening injuries.

The driver, who was wearing a seat belt, had minor injuries, according to Hegstrom.

The passenger in the front seat was also wearing a seat belt but was seriously injured. That person was also airlifted to a hospital.

Three children in the back of the vehicle were all restrained and had minor injuries.

The Suburban was traveling with some other vehicles. They were all headed to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) in Mexico.

There were traffic delays while the crash was investigated.

Investigators said the driver was not impaired but may have been speeding.

"This is actually a pretty dangerous road," said Brent Leavitt who was driving from Maricopa to Gila Bend and was stopped for about an hour while the highway was closed. "This is the second time that I've been stopped on this road for a rollover accident probably within the last month actually. These curves kind of sneak up on you if you're not familiar with this particular highway."

Other drivers stuck in the closure said they see people driving too fast and irresponsibly on the highway.

"Prior to getting to this accident there were a lot of people passing us rather quickly, rather unsafely. We both said to each other 'we're taking our time it's not worth it' and then we came upon this accident," said Galem Allen, who traveling from Mesa to San Diego with Kyle Sawyer from Chandler.

"I've always been weary of these curves here," said Sawyer. "It's always people going too fast and trying to pass you."