A Pima County man died Thursday when his vehicle was engulfed in flames just south of the Twin Peaks interchange now under construction at I-10 in Marana.
Northwest Fire / Rescue, Marana Police Department and Arizona Department of Public Safety personnel responded to the scene of a one-vehicle accident about 7:20 p.m. Thursday, according to Adam Goldberg with Northwest Fire District.
Due to construction and limited emergency vehicle access, the first response team was unable to get through traffic, which was at a complete stop. First responders took their medical gear and proceeded on foot toward the burning pick-up truck, which was about a quarter of a mile away. They were able to begin medical treatment on the victim, who had been pulled from the flames.
Brandon Schultz, 31, was transported via helicopter to a Tucson area hospital. He was pronounced dead at 8:31 p.m.
While first responders were stopped in traffic, a second team of firefighters was dispatched from Northwest stations 36 and 37. Those firefighters were able to use frontage roads and enter the construction site to get closer to the burning vehicle. When firefighters arrived, they noticed a semi-truck directly behind the burning vehicle was carrying explosives commonly used in fireworks.
"That's when the assignment was upgraded to hazmat-full," Goldberg said. "They also began the early processes of declaring an evacuation of one-quarter mile in all directions."
Traffic in both directions was shut down on the freeway. An eastbound lane was reopened about a half hour after the accident, and a westbound lane was reopened after about an hour and a half.