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Wrong-way driver dies after crashing into another vehicle on Loop 101

The crash briefly closed the highway near the Thunderbird Road exit early Wednesday morning.

PHOENIX — One person is dead and two others are hospitalized after a wrong-way crash late Tuesday night, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

The wrong-way driver was pronounced dead after they crashed into another vehicle on Loop 101 near milepost 11, troopers said. The driver, who authorities have yet to identify, traveled two miles northbound in the southbound lanes of the state route when they collided with the other vehicle.

Two people from the vehicle that was hit were transported to a local hospital, troopers said. Authorities did not give specifics on the health status of those two individuals.

The crash caused the closure of the roadway as investigators were at the scene, troopers said. The roadway has since been reopened.

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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.

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