9 injured in DOC van rollover near Gila River Bridge


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Bruce Haffner

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Updated Friday, Apr 5 at 6:44 PM

Map: I-10 and Riggs

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NEAR GILA RIVER -- Nine people were hurt when an Arizona Department of Corrections van blew a tire and rolled over on Interstate 10 near the Gila River Bridge Friday morning.

It happened at about 7 a.m. at milepost 173, which is about five miles south of Riggs Road. Nine people, all of whom are DOC employees, were in the van, which was en route from Florence to Phoenix.

Video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed the vehicle lying on its roof in the median.

Emergency responders were working the scene with the help of the Phoenix Fire Department.

Aerial video showed the paramedics' triage area in the eastbound lanes of I-10. Three medical helicopters were called to the scene. The remaining six victims were transported by ground ambulance, DPS Officer Casey Yartom said.

None of the patients' conditions was immediately available.

The eastbound lanes of I-10 were blocked by the wreck and subsequent emergency operations. The closure caused a major traffic backup. Drivers were being routed off the freeway at Riggs Road.

The freeway reopened shortly after 8:15 a.m., allowing traffic in both directions to get moving again. It was slow-going while DPS wrapped up its on-scene investigation.

The wreck scene was completely clear by 9:15 a.m.

Investigators on the scene said tire failure caused the van to roll off the roadway.