911 tapes detail witnesses calling in to report wrong-way driver on Interstate 17

ANTHEM, AZ - 911 tapes caught the chilling moments before a wrong-way driver killed three people on Interstate 17 last Friday.

The collision was one of three deadly wrong-way crashes in a week.

Almost 30 witnesses called 911 trying to help.

According to the 911 tapes from the Department of Public Safety there were several near-misses-- until their worst fears happened.

That driver slammed right into a minivan carrying a family.

Dozens of drivers described narrowly escaping head on collisions to 911 operators.  

“Somebody was going the wrong way they almost hit me. There was no one on the roadway thank God,” a caller said.

“He almost hit a couple of cars. I swerved over, but he almost nailed a couple of cars behind me,” another caller said.

Frantically, witnesses reported a car heading northbound on the southbound side of the freeway. They said it was driving dangerously fast.

“He's doing probably 100 miles an hour the wrong way,” one driver said.

The wrong-way driver sped past cars for 20 miles until he crashed into a mini-van with six people, including a young child inside.

“It looks like people are hurt. I can't get the door open, there's people in a minivan. It's smashed really bad,” said a witness who tried to help.

Three adults died and paramedics rushed a young child and two adults to the hospital.

Witnesses said it didn't look like the driver ever tried to stop.

“It looked like a suicide mission, because he never hit his brakes one time,” a caller said to the 911 operator.

The wrong-way driver survived.

Police won't release his name, but they say he's a Valley man in his 60's.

DPS is calling this a homicide investigation.

They believe he might have been impaired by prescription drugs.

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