PHOENIX — The Department of Public Safety responded to a wrong-way crash on northbound I-17 around 5:30 a.m., Tuesday. 

The crash involved two cars on northbound I-17 north of Carefree Highway.

Investigators say a car was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes when it hit a semi-truck.

Officers arrived on scene to find a four-door car mangled in the shadow of at least one beer can. Its driver -- not inside. 

The driver of the car is a woman in her 20s. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

“The force and the motion of it…pretty much ripped the front left side of the vehicle, causing her to get ejected,” Trooper Jonathan Montes said. 

The semi-truck driver was not hurt in the crash.  

I-17 northbound was closed near State Route 74 until about 9:45 a.m. Traffic was diverted from SR 74 to North Valley Parkway. 

Montes believes this could have been avoided by “making sure you have a designated driver.” 

“Very fortunate that everybody was able to stop in time and she was not, you know, struck by another vehicle or anything like that,” Montes said. 

Unfortunately, similar and deadlier scenes are all too common in the Valley. So far this year, there have been 16 wrong-way collision deaths in Arizona, the same number killed in wrong-way collisions in all of 2018, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.