TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – Most drivers who were heading to Phoenix Thursday ran into a long detour off Interstate 10 and onto state route 87.
"We still want this road as quickly as possible because if that road over there had been sufficient, they never would have built this one," said Arizona Department of Public Safety Capt. Brian Preston as he stood by a wreck that closed I-10.
Westbound I-10 was littered with wilting produce after DPS said that an eastbound tractor trailer lost control about 7 a.m. and cross the median into the westbound lanes and struck an SUV and a car. A westbound truck then hit the trailer of the eastbound one.
"This really is as bad as we get," Preston said about the crash.
The driver of the eastbound rig died. Three people died in the SUV, which burst into flames after the crash. Investigators made sure that the vehicle did not hold any more people.
"When they get burned as bad as this is, you don't know until you start sifting through it," Preston said.
But Preston said that the stretch of I-10 where the crash happened, near milepost 210, was not a particularly bad stretch compared to any other part of the highway.
"When you're trying to establish where your problem areas are, it's one of the reasons we do investigations, because it's only once you start doing some statistical analysis you can say this is a problem and see what causes are associated with those wrecks," Preston said.
The driver of the westbound truck was transported to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.
DPS did not have a cause for the eastbound truck losing control. But the truck had a driving team, and the other driver was taken to University Medical Center in Tucson. Capt. Preston said that driver might offer more insight into what happened to cause the crash.
Interstate 10 reopened about 1:45 p.m., according to DPS.
Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.
7831 N. Business Park Drive