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DPS: Woman tries to exit from speeding car on freeway in North Phoenix

Michael Anthony Smith.jpg
Posted at 1:41 PM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 18:19:48-04

PHOENIX — A woman tried to exit from a speeding car driven by a DUI suspect on I-17 in north Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reports that on March 5 about 7:30 a.m. multiple witnesses called saying they saw a Volkswagen Beetle driving erratically on I-17 near Dove Valley Road.

Witnesses allegedly told DPS that the car was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, driving on the dirt shoulder, and kicking up rocks. They also reportedly saw the passenger side door open and close several times.

The Beetle nearly crashed into a cement wall as it exited the freeway at Thunderbird Road. It eventually ran a red light, causing a four-vehicle collision.

KNXV I-17 Thunderbird Crash 3-5-19

DPS says the driver, 35-year-old Michael Anthony Smith, was found unconscious in the car. His female passenger sustained multiple injuries, including spinal and rib fractures and a partially collapsed lung.

One victim in another vehicle suffered broken ribs and a possible bruised liver. The other victims’ injuries were minor.

Court records show that this was Smith's fourth DUI incident. He was scheduled that day to appear in court for a prior DUI.

DPS says Smith's blood-alcohol content was recorded at 0.123 after the March 5 crash.

Smith faces with multiple counts of endangerment, aggravated assault, and aggravated DUI.