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Fatal crash on US 60 in Mesa leaves 2 dead, freeway shutdown during morning commute

Two people in a pickup truck were ejected after the vehicle rolled several times down the roadway, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers said.

MESA, Ariz. — Two people are dead after a suspected impaired driver caused a crash on US 60 in Mesa early Wednesday morning, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

The crash caused the closure of the eastbound lanes of the roadway near Sossaman Road, the department said. All lanes were later reopened before 8 a.m.

Investigators at the scene believe the driver of a white Mercedes traveling eastbound rear-ended a pickup truck on the roadway near Sossaman Road. The pickup truck then rolled several times down the road, ejecting both of the occupants from the vehicle.

The two occupants were declared dead at the scene, the department said. Troopers said they believe the Mercedes driver was impaired and was transported to a local hospital in stable condition.

DPS said a suspect identified as Kimball Anthony Pardini, 27, has been booked into jail. 

Authorities have yet to release the following information:

  • The identities of the victims
  • The blood alcohol content of the suspect

This is a developing story. Tune in to 12News for the latest updates.

RELATED: Woman accused in deadly San Tan Valley crash had BAC more than 3 times legal limit, officials say

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Deaths on Arizona roads

Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that roadway fatalities have been gradually rising in Arizona over the last decade:

  • 2011: 825 deaths
  • 2012: 821 deaths
  • 2013: 844 deaths
  • 2014: 774 deaths
  • 2015: 895 deaths
  • 2016: 952 deaths
  • 2017: 1,000 deaths
  • 2018: 1,010 deaths
  • 2019: 982 deaths
  • 2020: 1,057 deaths

ADOT offers driving tips on its website to help keep people safe on the road.

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website.

ADOT's suggestions include:

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively
  • Never drive while under the influence of substances
  • Avoid distractions while driving
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same
  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over
  • Stay extra aware in work zones
  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here.

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said.

RELATED: Phoenix mother mourns, remembers her daughter's 'glow' after she was hit and killed by a truck

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