PHOENIX — Crashes and death tolls are increasing on a 79-mile section of US 93, northwest of Wickenburg, according to an ABC15 Investigators' analysis of Arizona state traffic data.
US 93 is the primary route for drivers between Phoenix and Las Vegas. ABC15 looked at the area from milepost 199, where US 93 splits from US 60 in Wickenburg to mile marker 120, which is just north of Wikieup.
The ABC15 Investigators obtained vehicle crash data from the Arizona Department of Transportation from 2015 to 2019, as well as preliminary 2020 fatality crash information from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, to perform this analysis.
Thirty-five people have died along this portion of US 93 from 2015 to 2020.
After several years of declining deaths on this stretch of US 93, nine people died in 2019, the highest total since 2015. In addition, overall traffic crashes in this section have increased nearly 40 percent, from 183 incidents in 2015 to 248 incidents in 2019. Watch an interactive map below showing these crashes as they occurred in 2019.
Consumer finance website Value Penguin named US 93 in Arizona the most dangerous highway in the United States.
The highest concentration of crashes during the five-year period we looked at occurred on a seven-mile stretch of US 93 through Wickenburg; two of those crashes involved fatalities. Nearly 100 crashes and two deaths occurred at mileposts 144-149 near a remote place called Nothing. Another crash hot spot involves a two-lane section of road between mileposts 161 and 180, north of the turnoff to Congress. Twenty-one people died along that section from 2015 to 2019.
Track crashes on this stretch of US 93 from 2015-2019 in the map below.
On April 30, 2021, a crash in one of those hots pots, near milepost 174, killed two women and injured five other people. Arizona State Trooper Casey Rhinehart was among the injured, and good Samaritans rescued him from his burning patrol car.
Most of the fatal crashes in 2020 were on the 34 miles of two-lane highway between Wickenburg and Wikieup. The two-lane sections are shown on the map below.
On Thursday, a deadly crash occurred along U.S. 93 near milepost 179, in which a vehicle crossed over the center line and collided with a semi-truck. This incident occurred along one of the portions of the two-lane section of the highway.
Nearly all of 2020's fatal crashes happened on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Most involve a motorist driving left of center or making an unsafe lane change, according to DPS data. See the chart below for details on 2020's fatal crashes.
|Date & Time||Milepost||Injuries||Deaths||Violation|
|Sunday, Feb. 9 | 3:10pm||191||2||1||Unsafe lane change|
|Friday, Feb. 14 | 11:45am||177||4||1||No improper action|
|Saturday, Feb. 22| 12:41am||146||2||1||Speed to fast for conditions|
|Friday, May 22 | 12:07am||177||1||1||Drove left of center line|
|Thursday, May 28 | 1:03am||138||0||2||Unknown|
|Saturday, June 13 | 8:03pm||169||3||1||Drove left of center line, unsafe lane change|
|Saturday, Oct. 3 | 5:20am||175||6||2||Drove left of center line|
According to ADOT, a section of US 93 from Wickenburg Ranch Road to the junction with SR 89 is scheduled to be widened next from two lanes to a divided four-lane highway.
That project is scheduled to be put out for bid this fall. In recent years, more than $500 million has been invested in US 93, according to ADOT.