2 killed in wrong-way crash on Loop 303 near Litchfield Park

January 28, 2022

LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ  – A wrong-way driver is in the hospital after killing two men in an early morning crash on southbound Loop 303 near Litchfield Park early Friday, January 28th, 2022.

DPS got a report of a wrong-way driver in a pickup truck on the freeway near Indian School Road just before 4 a.m. That truck plowed into an oncoming SUV 2 minutes later. Video from the scene showed the truck with heavy front-end damage.

According to DPS spokesman Bart Graves, the driver of the SUV, 61-year-old Brian Vaughn of Surprise, died at the scene. He was the only one in the car. The passenger in the pickup, 21-year-old Joaquin Santiago Ruiz, was pronounced dead at the hospital. The driver, later identified as Fabian Grimaldo, was taken to the hospital. He has been booked on two counts of homicide and one count of criminal damage. Investigators say the suspect is suspected of driving under the influence.
DPS said the wind was an issue in the investigation. “It makes it challenging for the detectives,” DPS spokesperson Joseph Campbell said. “We have roadway evidence, and even just communications. Trying to talk on the radio with the wind blowing makes it a challenge.” Detectives were using their vehicle to protect the scene from the wind as much as possible.

The southbound lanes of the Loop 303 were closed while investigators were on the scene. DPS reopened the freeway shortly before 9 a.m.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victims at this time of great loss for them.

Source: 3TV/CBS 5