Wrong-way driver killed after vehicle plummets off I-10

Posted: Updated:
(Source: ADOT/3TV/CBS 5) (Source: ADOT/3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Arizona Department of Transportation) (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
(Source: Arizona Department of Transportation) (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
(Source: Arizona Department of Transportation) (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
(Source: Arizona Department of Transportation) (Source: Arizona Department of Transportation)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A wrong-way driver is dead after crashing into a tanker truck and careening over a freeway ramp wall early Thursday morning.

According to Arizona DPS, a 2013 maroon Kia sedan was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-17 around 2:45 a.m.

The vehicle collided head-on with a tanker truck. The wrong-way vehicle then fell off of the ramp from eastbound I-10 to northbound I-17 falling about 50 to 70 feet, DPS said. 

"After that vehicle struck the semi, it actually went over the wall and fell down between the main line of northbound I-17 and where the westbound I-10 comes into northbound I-17," said Kameron Lee, public information officer for Arizona Department of Public Safety.

[TRAFFIC ALERT: Multiple freeways closed from wrong-way driver accident]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Wrong-way drivers]

The wrong-way driver, identified as 26-year-old Jose Manuel Lopez, was pronounced dead on scene. The tanker driver reported no injuries.

"We don't know where the vehicle entered the freeway, we received our first reports around Thomas and I-17 which is very close to where the collision happened, so it happened pretty quickly," Lee said.

Eastbound I-10 to northbound I-17 and westbound I-10 to northbound I-17 ramps and the I-17 northbound Stack were closed, according to DPS.

[PHOTOS: Wrong-way driver killed after vehicle plummets off I-10]

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The department's HAZMAT team was called to the area to inspect the tanker truck.

"The semi was hauling 800 pounds of diesel fuel but it only had a short leak from the truck's main fuel. That leak was contained by the fire department on scene," Lee said.

The area was closed for several hours but has since completely reopened. 

[RAW VIDEO: I-10 wrong way crash press conference with DPS]

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