DPS: 1 dead in Interstate 10 bus crash near Casa Grande

CASA GRANDE, AZ - Authorities say one person is dead and several were hurt in a bus crash Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 10 near Casa Grande.

According to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Carrick Cook, the three-vehicle collision happened on westbound Interstate 10 at Jimmie Kerr Boulevard around 2:30 p.m.

Francis Wilkens Gibson, Jr., 78, of Casa Grande, was driving a pickup truck eastbound in the westbound lanes, DPS said.

He drove head first into a passenger bus and died, DPS said.

Sixteen people were on board the bus at the time of the crash, and crews tended to numerous injuries.

Nine passengers were injured, but none seriously, according to a DPS news release Tuesday night.

"Two injured passengers were flown to Casa Grande Regional Hospital," the release stated. "The other injured were taken by ground ambulance to the same facility."

A Fry's Food Store semi truck tried to stop during the collision, but struck the side of the bus as the semi jack-knifed.

Air15 video showed the pickup truck charred in the median. Chopper footage showed westbound traffic backed up for several miles as crews worked to clear the accident scene.

The westbound lanes re-opened around 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

"DPS received two 9-1-1 calls about a wrong way driver just two minutes before the crash," the DPS news release stated. "It is unknown where Mr. Gibson entered the freeway."

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