10/17: Wrong-way wreck closes EB I-10 west of downtown Phoenix


A wreck west of downtown Phoenix closed the eastbound lanes of Interstate 10 early Friday morning, and authorities expected the closure to remain in place through the morning rush hour, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The wreck forced the closure of the eastbound lanes of I-10 at the interchange with Interstate 17 and includes the ramps linking I-17 with the eastbound lanes of I-10. Police began receiving emergency calls at about 2 a.m. reporting a car driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-10 near State Route 143, said Raul Garcia, an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman.

By 2:08 a.m., the car had continued driving against traffic in the westbound lanes, moving through the downtown area, before it collided with another car near Seventh Avenue, Garcia said. Three other cars drove through the wreckage shortly after the collision and hit debris and the two vehicles involved in the initial wreck, Garcia said.

Four people were taken to hospitals with injuries that varied from serious to critical, he said. Police said the suspect driver is a 25-year-old woman and investigators believe impairment may have played a factor, Garcia said.

The wreck was expected to keep the eastbound lanes of I-10 closed for hours, Garcia said. By 6:30 a.m., ADOT was reporting a backup that started downtown and extended to 67th Avenue.

The closure extends to Seventh Avenue, according to ADOT, where drivers can re-enter the eastbound lanes of I-10. The westbound lanes of I-10 remained open.