Surveillance video released showing wrong-way driver at Sky Harbor

Posted: Updated:
Two people were killed Tuesday night. A third was injured. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Two people were killed Tuesday night. A third was injured. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A Phoenix man driving the wrong way on a different freeway ramp was killed early Thursday morning when his car collided with a truck and then fell onto a ramp below. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A Phoenix man driving the wrong way on a different freeway ramp was killed early Thursday morning when his car collided with a truck and then fell onto a ramp below. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (AP) -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety has released surveillance video showing a wrong-way driver at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport minutes before the driver caused a deadly collision on Tuesday night.

One of the two people killed has been identified as Young Lee, 54, of Phoenix. Investigators said his vehicle was hit head-on by the wrong-way vehicle on State Route 51 near McDowell Road.

[ORIGINAL STORY: DPS: 2 people dead after wrong-way crash at the Mini-Stack]

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Wrong-way Drivers]

DPS has not released the name of the wrong-way driver nor has its investigators said if impairment was a factor. Also, it's still not clear how fast the vehicles were going when they collided. 

It was about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday when DPS was notified about a red sedan heading west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 from Sky Harbor International Airport. 

[WATCH: Surveillance video of wrong-way driver at Sky Harbor]

That as-yet unidentified driver then continued to go the wrong way on the southbound SR 51 HOV transition ramp, where he slammed head-on into a white sedan driven by Lee, who was transitioning from the 51 to I-10.

A driver in a third vehicle that was hit suffered minor injuries.

Sara Teague was on the road at the time. She pulled as far to the right as she could as the wrong-way driver sped past her. That exactly what DPS advises drivers to do should they see a wrong-way vehicle coming at them.

Teague saw the crash behind her.

"If I had left work seconds later that could have been me," she said.

[READ MORE: Witness sees wrong-way driver before fatal crash]

Reacting to this latest fatal wrong-way crash on a Phoenix freeway, Gov. Doug Ducey state agencies to take steps that include expediting the deployment of new technology aimed at curbing the problem.

[READ MORE: Gov. Ducey responds to latest wrong-way driving deaths]

Ducey described Tuesday night's crash as a tragedy and said the problem of wrong-way driving on Valley freeways warrants immediate state action on every available front.

Ducey says he wants all Arizonans to take the problem seriously and state and local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement and public awareness.

[ONLINE: Governor Ducey's full statement on wrong-way drivers]

Department of Transportation officials said recently that they planned this fall to deploy a pilot project for a wrong-way detection system using thermal camera technology to alert wrong-way drivers, other drivers and law enforcement.

"I want those cameras implemented as quickly as possible, and expanded to as many areas as possible where they may make a difference and save a life," Ducey said in a news release.

Tuesday's deadly wreck came just days after another fatal wrong-way crash. A Phoenix man driving the wrong way on a different freeway ramp was killed early Thursday morning when his car collided with a truck and then fell onto a ramp below.

[READ MORE: Wrong-way driver killed after vehicle plummets off I-10 (June 1, 2017)]

Many incidents of wrong-way driving involve impaired drivers.

"The roads haven't changed, but people's behavior has changed," DPS Director Milstead said.

[RELATED: DPS director says wrong-way crashes are social issue]

Michael Moretti, who survived a wrong-way crash nearly a year ago, says combatting the problem starts with people making better decisions, especially when it comes to driving.

Milstead it's up to everybody to be vigilant and suggested some basic precautions.

"At night, drive on the right-hand side of the roadway," he said. "Stay out of the carpool lane and the high-speed lane after hours if you can. It's just safer on the other side of the road."

“Get out of the way," DPS Capt. Tim Mason advised after an incident in late December. "We’re not asking people to take rapid immediate evasive action because we don’t want them to have a crash.”

The key is to be aware of what's happening on the road around you.

Last year, DPS troopers responded to more than 1,600 reports of wrong-way drivers. 

"In most instances, these people reorient themselves and exit the highway," DPS spokesman Raul Garcia explained in December.

It's the other instances that are dangerous -- potentially deadly. Arizona averaged more than two wrong-way crashes per month last year.

The most important thing you can do if you see a wrong-way driver is to call 911 once you know you are safe. Do not assume that somebody else will or already has.


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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