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Street sweeper drives off I-10 overpass, kills 2 children

DPS says a 10-year-old girl was ejected from a Toyota Tundra that had been equipped as a street sweeper.

PHOENIX — A woman and two children were all riding in a Toyota Tundra equipped as a street sweeper on Interstate 10 when it rolled off an overpass onto the westbound lanes of I-10 beneath it.

A 10-year-old girl was killed in the accident while the driver of the vehicle, a 37-year-old woman and a 7-year-old girl were both taken to the hospital, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety

The 7-year-old girl was later pronounced dead at the hospital, while the driver is still in the hospital with serious injuries. However, DPS officials said she's expected to survive.

The two girls were the driver's children, officials said.

DPS troopers believe that speeding and other issues were a factor in the street sweeper crash. The troopers that responded to the scene of the crash found the younger child outside the vehicle, the 10-year-old ejected from the street sweeper lying on the Loop 101 ramp to the I-10, and the driver pinned behind the wheel.

Investigators closed down the I-10 westbound and ramp from the southbound lanes of Loop 101 to eastbound Interstate 10 as they worked to figure out the events leading up to the crash. The roadways have since reopened.

DPS said while the driver appears to have been wearing a seatbelt, the young girls were not. 

"With the rollover, anytime you have windows that break and you have an opening someone can be ejected it doesn’t appear there was any seatbelt usage in this case," Sgt. Jason Melki with DPS said. 

DPS is investigating whether impairment may have been a contributing factor.

12 News contacted the street sweeping company, Arizona Desert Sweeping regarding the crash. We were told the company is shocked, and couldn't answer any more questions. 

"She (the driver) was working at the time of the crash," Melki said. 

Editor's Note: DPS previously said one of the victims killed in the crash was an adult woman but has since corrected the victim's age. 

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

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The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) offers driving tips 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: DPS: Pedestrian hit, killed on Loop 202 in Chandler, driver arrested for suspected DUI

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