About 25 miles south of downtown Phoenix, a semi-truck collided with another vehicle on I-10. The driver of the passenger car was pronounced dead at the scene. The front of section of the passenger car was crushed during the crash.
The semi-truck driver was injured, but not seriously, in the motor vehicle crash. The front end of the truck was also damaged, but not to the same extent as the car. The fatal motor vehicle accident caused several hours of traffic delays as emergency responders tended to the crash victims.
The driver of the passenger car had crossed over the land divide that separates traffic moving in opposite directions on the I-10 just before the fatal crash. There's no indication at this point as to what caused her to drift into oncoming traffic but there is speculation that she may have fallen asleep at the wheel, was distracted by something inside her car or had suffered a medical emergency.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wrong way drivers are involved in 1.5 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide. To avoid serious or fatal injury in a wrong-way crash, the NHTSA suggests:
- Looking far ahead for signs of a wrong-way driver - brake lights, swerving, headlights moving toward you
- Driving in the outside lane, especially while navigating curves in the road
The majority of crashes caused by wrong-way drivers are head-on or side-swipe collisions because wrong-way drivers tend to travel in the inside lane or even on the inside shoulder, falsely believing they are on a multi-lane highway.
Source: AZFamily, "Photos: Interstate 10 reopened following closure for fatal collision," Mike Gertzman, July 17, 2012