DPS: 1 dead after crash on Interstate 17 north of Valley

ANTHEM, AZ - Authorities say one person has died as a result of an accident that closed Interstate 17 north of the Valley for several hours on Saturday.

The multi-vehicle and multi-injury crash closed the highway in both directions and disrupted traffic near Anthem Way.

Captain Dan Jarrett of the Daisy Mountain Fire Department initially said at least 10 people were injured-- three critically -- in the five-vehicle crash.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said a woman who was driving a Chevy Impala has died and another woman in a Volkswagen has very critical injuries. None of the other injuries are serious, according to Graves.

Graves said the chain of events started when around 11 a.m. a vehicle had a tire separate and it rolled into the median. All three people in that car were seriously hurt.

Southbound traffic had slowed for that accident and a box truck driver told authorities he dropped a water bottle and lost sight of the road, slamming into one car which resulted in a five-car pileup.

ADOT officials closed both the northbound and southbound lanes bringing traffic to a stop for slightly over an hour in order for medical helicopters to land.

The northbound lanes reopened at 3:30 p.m. The southbound lanes re-opened at approximately 4:30 p.m. but delays were expected until the backup cleared.

The driver of the box truck will be cited for failure to control his vehicle, Graves said.

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