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Two wrong-way crashes reported on Valley freeways overnight

Posted at 4:18 AM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 17:07:14-04

SCOTTSDALE — Two wrong-way crashes were reported on Valley freeways overnight.

Loop 101 and Shea Boulevard

The incident startted around 1:30 a.m. when a wrong-way driver crashed head-on into a tanker truck on Loop 101 in Scottsdale, causing a closure of the freeway.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials says the two-vehicle crash occurred in the northbound lanes near Shea Boulevard.

The driver of the wrong-way vehicle, a 24-year-old woman, reportedly suffered minor injuries, despite serious damage to the vehicle.

No other injuries were reported.

Officials believe intoxication may have been a factor in the crash.

State Route 51 and Thomas Road

DPS officials say the incident started around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when a trooper tried to stop a black Ford Mustang for speeding on Interstate 17 near Camelback Road. The driver failed to yield to the trooper, so Phoenix Police Department's helicopter monitored its location.

The vehicle continued on surface streets at a high rate of speed and officials say the driver eventually tried to get on SR-51 at Thomas Road. At that point, the vehicle was driving in the wrong direction and crashed into a barrier wall.

The driver and two others in the car fled the scene, but were eventually taken into custody by police.

DPS says the driver was identified as 25-year-old Justin Lee Lopez of Phoenix. He was booked into Maricopa County jail on charges of aggravated DUI, felony flight, failure to obey law enforcement and criminal speed. The other two vehicle occupants were released.

Take a look at the map below to see every media-reported wrong-way incident in the Valley so far in 2019.

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