The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Northwest Fire District had a busy night Saturday, answer to major calls for accidents on Interstate 10 within a 12-hour period.
The first came around 6:30 p.m. Saturday when a semi-truck lost control in the westbound lane around mile post 236. The truck crossed the median, taking wires with it and collided with an SUV.
The truck driver was not injured, and the female driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.
While crews worked to clear the scene, the Interstate was closed down on both sides for nearly four hours. DPS officials had to call in the Arizona Department of Transportation because the freeway was damaged.
I-10 was reopened around 10:30 p.m.
Northwest Fire District firefighters responded to their second major freeway incident within 12 hours Sunday morning when a single vehicle sport SUV rolled over on I-10 at Ina road.
The vehicle was traveling eastbound, just above Ina road when the driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle rolled several times. The six occupants are from one family that was traveling from Tempe to Tucson when the incident occurred.
A 19-year-old male was ejected from the vehicle when it rolled and is in critical condition. Two of the occupants were trapped in the vehicle and crews had to use the “jaws of life” to free them by removing the roof and doors. The remaining three passengers were out of the vehicle prior to the arrival of emergency crews. Four of the passengers were transported with minor injuries, one with serious injuries and the 19 year-old with critical injuries.
All the patients were transported by ground ambulance to the Trauma Center at the University of Arizona Medical Center’s central campus.
Eastbound I-10 traffic was diverted off Ina road while crews treated and transported the victims. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) kept the roadway closed during their investigation into the cause of the rollover.
Northwest Fire District spokesman Cpt. Adam Goldberg said after a long night, it is important to remind drivers to be careful on the roadways.
Goldberg advised drivers to always make sure that the vehicle you are traveling in is in good mechanical condition, especially the tires.
Goldberg said to be weary of driver fatigue and make sure the person behind the wheel is well rested, and that drivers should avoid text messaging and other distractions.