Photos: 4 killed in head-on semi wreck on I-10 south of Phoenix


by Catherine Holland

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 8 at 2:07 PM

Map: Eloy, Arizona

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PICACHO, Ariz. – Four people were killed in an early morning multi-vehicle wreck that closed a portion of westbound Interstate 10 about an hour southeast of Phoenix Thursday.

It happened at 7 a.m. at milepost 210, which is less than five miles southeast of Eloy in Pinal County.

According to the Department of Public Safety, a commercial vehicle was heading east on I-10 when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle.

DPS Officer Quentin Mehr said the semi ran across the median area and onto westbound I-10 where it plowed into a minivan and another passenger vehicle.

That minivan caught fire and the semi rolled onto its side. A westbound commercial vehicle, a Swift semi, ran into the overturned trailer.

Four people were killed in the crash, Mehr said.

Three people from the minivan were killed, as was the driver of the first semi.

Rescuers had to extricate the driver of the Swift semi from his cab. He was trapped for about 90 minutes. He was air-lifted to a local hospital. Mehr said the man was critically injured.

Aerial video from the scene showed the trailer of of the overturned semi bent around the cab of the Swift truck. That bent trailer appeared to have been ripped open like a sardine can. Debris from its cargo was scattered all over the road. The cab of that truck went through the far median and down the slope off the side of the highway.

It’s not clear what caused the driver of the semi that crossed the median to lose control of his rig. DPS investigators are on the scene.

Investigators have not released the names of anyone involved in the horrific crash.

Westbound I-10 has re-opened between State Route 87 and Sunshine Boulevard.

Eastbound I-10 is open.