DPS trooper involved in hit-and-run crash on U.S. 60

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Preston Phillips, 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: Preston Phillips, 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Department of Public Safety trooper was involved in a wreck while performing a traffic break on eastbound U.S. 60 Wednesday, and, according to DPS, the driver who caused the crash kept right on going. 

It happened near Greenfield Road just after 11:30 a.m.

Aerial video from the scene showed that two lanes -- the HOV lane and the left lane --  were blocked. It also showed severe front-end damage to the DPS patrol vehicle. An SUV was off to the side of the freeway, nosed up to the barrier wall to the left of the yellow line. DPS said one other vehicle was involved.

[SLIDESHOW: Aerials from the scene]

"A DPS patrol vehicle, with two troopers inside, was performing a traffic break," DPS spokesman Quentin Mehr said in an email response to our inquiry.  "Traffic was slowing when a white vehicle came through, failing to slow, and struck the patrol vehicle, causing it to spin out and strike the inside concrete barricade.  After striking the barricade, the patrol vehicle struck a third vehicle."

Mehr said the white vehicle that hit the DPS squad car left the scene. 

Mehr said the two troopers and a person in the third vehicle, the SUV seen in the aerial video and photos, suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.

A traffic break on a freeway generally involves a patrol car zig-zagging slowly across all lanes in an effort to slow down drivers and bring traffic to a stop. This can happen for any number of reasons from closing a freeway ahead of a crash to removing debris from travel lanes.

Mehr did not say what prompted the traffic break the troopers were conducting. 

We will update this story as details come in to the Arizona's Family newsroom.

[MAP: U.S. 60 and Greenfield Road]


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