2-year-old girl, woman killed in wrong-way crash in Surprise; 2 others hurt

It's unclear why the woman was driving the wrong way.
It's unclear why the woman was driving the wrong way.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:50 PM MST

SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A 2-year-old girl and a woman are dead following a wrong-way crash Wednesday night in Surprise. Two others, including an 4-month-old boy, are hospitalized. The crash happened just before 9 p.m. on Loop 303 near Bell Road in Surprise. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the 83-year-old woman was driving southbound in the northbound lanes when she collided head-on with another vehicle.

DPS says the woman died at the scene. “It’s important to note she was alone in the vehicle, with no surviving witnesses from her vehicle so that will take longer to investigate,” said Bart Graves with DPS. A woman and two children were in the other car, and all three were taken to the hospital. The two-year-old girl died soon after. DPS says the other woman has life-threatening injuries and an 4-month-old boy is in serious condition.

A two-car, wrong-way crash that happened on Loop 303 near Surprise Wednesday night killed an...
A two-car, wrong-way crash that happened on Loop 303 near Surprise Wednesday night killed an elderly woman and a 2-year-old girl. A woman and an 8-month-old are in the hospital.(Arizona's Family)

“We need to work with the medical examiner’s office so we can rule out impairment or other factors and go forward,” Graves said. Right now, it’s unclear why she was going the wrong way but her age may have been a factor. “They occasionally, elderly people who don’t know where they are and don’t know their bearings, don’t drive a lot at night,” said Graves. The crash remains under investigation. No identities have been released.

Over the years, the Arizona Department of Transportation has added thermal detection cameras at off ramps along Loop 303 and other Valley freeways. These cameras discover wrong-way drivers and will notify troopers while ADOT dispatchers post “wrong-way vehicle warning” messages on electronic signs in the area. But Wednesday night, no detections were recorded. We asked ADOT why and if there was a failure with a camera. In response, a spokesperson said, “We can only tell you that no detections with thermal cameras were recorded”.

Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to show the injured boy is 4 months old, not 8 months old as originally told to us by DPS.