Motorcyclist identified in fatal SR-51 crash

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A fatal crash involving two vehicles prompted the closure of State Route 51 near Thomas Road in Phoenix. (Source: Department of Public Safety) A fatal crash involving two vehicles prompted the closure of State Route 51 near Thomas Road in Phoenix. (Source: Department of Public Safety)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A fatal crash prompted the closure of State Route 51 near Thomas Road in Phoenix, causing traffic to pile up late Friday night. 

Around 10:30 p.m., the Arizona Department of Transportation announced the closure of all northbound lanes on State Route 51.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the fatal crash involved three vehicles.

Southbound lanes were not affected by the closure.

According to DPS, a vehicle swerved from one lane to another to avoid a collision.

When the vehicle swerved it struck a motorcycle.

DPS officials say the motorcyclist was thrown from the motorcycle.

The rider was then struck by another vehicle. The rider sustained fatal injuries.

Authorities identified the motorcyclist as 67-year-old Michael Martel.

The crash is still under investigation.

ADOT officials say the area reopened to traffic after 1:40 a.m. Saturday. 

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