DPS: Wrong-way driver kills 2 in Gilbert crash

MESA, AZ - UPDATE: Officials have identified two people killed in Sunday morning wrong-way crash: http://on.abc15.com/1kgdZwo

Authorities are investigating a deadly car crash on an East Valley freeway.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, a reported wrong-way driver crashed into oncoming traffic early Sunday morning.

Two people were killed in the crash that happened just before 2 a.m. along the Loop 202 San Tan Freeway near Higley Road in Gilbert.

According to DPS spokesman Raul Garcia, a pickup truck was going the wrong way on Loop 202 and crashed into a sedan.

He said the pickup truck entered the freeway at University Drive on the east side of Loop 202 around 1:35 a.m. and the crash happened about 13 minutes later. He said the department received more than 10 calls about the driver traveling in the wrong direction. Approximately eight DPS officers and officers from Mesa and Gilbert responded to the call, but the crash occurred before they were able to stop the driver, Garcia said.

The two people in the sedan were killed. The driver of the pickup truck has serious injuries and the passenger's injuries are less serious.

This would be the third wrong way driver crash in 6 days. 

On Monday, Mesa police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza was killed near the US 60 and Interstate 10 interchange when a wrong-way driver slammed into his car on his way home from work. The other driver was killed as well.

Friday, three people were killed when a wrong-way driver slammed into a minivan on Interstate 17 . The wrong-way driver survived and DPS investigators say the driver will likely face charges following toxicology testing.

Garcia told ABC15 most wrong way accidents occur at night or during the early morning hours. He said to help keep yourself safe, drivers should drive in the center and right lanes as wrong-way drivers usually are in the far left lanes.

The freeway was closed near Higley Road for several hours.

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