Van exiting I-10 hits semi, tree, killing driver, DPS says


12/02/14 - A van exiting Interstate 10 in Phoenix Monday evening hit a semi-truck and then a tree, killing the driver, officials said.

The van ran into the bed of the semi on the eastbound off ramp at 67th Avenue, veered left and then crashed into a tree on the downward-sloping median between the off ramp and I-10, said Bart Graves, public-relations manager for Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The first impact occurred about 5:30 p.m. and was forceful enough to lift up the bed of semi, Graves said. The tree prevented the van from heading back into I-10 traffic, or the damage might have been much worse.

The driver of the van died at the scene. I-10 lanes were not closed, but the scene slowed down traffic on the interstate, backing up eastbound traffic.

 The off ramp to 67th Avenue is closed and authorities expect it to be reopened at about 8:30 p.m.

An investigation is under way. Authorities are withholding the identification of the driver until relatives can be contacted.