Gilbert father loses family in I-10 accident

04/01/14 - A fatal wreck on the I-10 near Picacho Peak Saturday killed 3 young kids, a pregnant woman, and grandmother. In almost an instant on Saturday, Lary Curley lost his three children and two women long considered to be his mother and sister when the truck they were riding in collided with a semi-truck on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak. Tyler Curley, 12, and Kayla and Brianna Curley, ages 9 and 7, died at the scene of the three-vehicle crash, as did 20-year-old Danielle Blackmore, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Raul Garcia.

Shelley Renee Blackmore, 49, was taken to a hospital in Tucson, where she succumbed to her injuries. "I am burying my whole family," Lary Curley said Monday.

Tracy William Blackmore, 47, the driver and husband, father and grandfather of those killed, was the only survivor inside the truck, Garcia said. Family members said Blackmore was in stable condition Monday and has been told about what happened. The tragic day began in Tucson, where the close-knit family was taking the day to spend time together, Curley said.

 A week prior to the incident, the family had gone camping and Tyler had caught his first fish. "They were a beautiful family, all three of his children were," said Kim Tricarico, the children's great-aunt said. "I watched them all grow up and prosper."

Tyler loved playing baseball and the girls were both cheerleaders, Curley said as he pulled out family photos. The children were always smiling, he said, and loved spending time with their grandparents. The family was traveling west on I-10 near Picacho Peak in a Ford F-250 pickup truck at about 6 p.m. Saturday when the tread on the driver's-side front tire separated, causing Tracy Blackmore to lose control, Garcia said. The pickup veered across the median and into the eastbound lanes, where it collided at an angle with a semitruck carrying computer equipment and then was hit by a sedan.

Curley said Tracy Blackmore had worked with cars his entire life and recently replaced the tires to the truck. Car safety was paramount for the family and everyone always wore their seatbelts: it was a requirement. "But because of the high impact...I was told they died instantly," Curley said. "I do know that there were a lot of people who were out there helping, and I want to tell them thank you." The semi-truck's driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital, but a passenger was not injured, Garcia said. No one in the sedan was hurt.

The family is asking the public to consider making a donation to the Blackmore and Curley Memorial Fund to any Bank of America.

These deaths add to the senseless list of others who have died on Interstate 10 due to crossover accidents, of which the State of Arizona is well aware of, but has chosen to do NOTHING over the course of the last 15 years.

They know there is too much traffic on I-10. They know that as early as 2001, Interstate 10 had “exceeded its maximum traffic capacity”. They have known for years the increasing amount of truck traffic. They have known for years that there have been crossover accidents and many deaths.

Yet, they have done NOTHING. These deaths did not have to happen, and should not have occurred. A simple piece of hardware, known very well to the State Highway Department as a “median barrier”, likely would have prevented these deaths. In Arizona, there are median barriers already on several state highways.

They exist on every inch of the Phoenix are freeway system. They are not new and they are not novel. They are 100% necessary to save lives, and the State of Arizona continues to ignore them.

People are dying. The State needs to be held liable, and the State needs to get something done.