CHANDLER, AZ – Five people are dead after a chain-reaction crash involving two semi-trucks and four cars led to a large fire on Interstate 10 in Chandler early Thursday morning, DPS said, and the freeway was partly closed for about 11 hours. Eastbound I-10 partially reopened just before 5 p.m. and fully reopened a short time later.
It happened on the eastbound side of the I-10 at about 6:15 a.m. south of Chandler Boulevard but just before the Loop 202 Santan Freeway interchange. As traffic was congested because of a crash that happened hours before, DPS says the driver of a semi hauling garbage didn’t slow down and slammed into two passenger cars, pushing them into another semi-truck and two other cars. The two cars that were crushed between the semi-trucks burst into flames, killing five.
DPS says the driver of the at-fault truck suffered minor injuries and troopers are investigating distraction as a possible cause of the crash.
The crash marked the third wreck involving a semi in less than six hours on I-10. Two separate crashes had shut down the eastbound side of the freeway a few miles away at Queen Creek Road. In the first, a tractor-trailer caught fire near Riggs Road when DPS says another semi-truck driver with a car-hauler crashed into three other semi-trucks. No one was seriously injured in those other crashes, but extensive traffic backups began just in time for the morning commute. DPS troopers say a large amount of diesel was spilled onto the road mixed in with the debris from all four semis. At this time, it appears that this latest crash was a result of those earlier incidents.
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this crash.
Deaths on Arizona roads
Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that roadway fatalities have been gradually rising in Arizona over the last years:
- 2016: 952 deaths
- 2017: 1,000 deaths
- 2018: 1,010 deaths
- 2019: 982 deaths
- 2020: 1,057 deaths
Call (602)254-6071 to talk with an Arizona personal injury attorney if you or a loved one were injured in a car accident.
Source: 3TV/CBS 5