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DPS: Reckless driver hits several vehicles, crashes on Loop 202 eastbound near Mesa

Police situation Loop 202 and Gilbert
Posted at 3:32 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 14:25:51-04

MESA, AZ — A reckless driver forced the closure of the Loop 202 Red Mountain eastbound near Gilbert Road Wednesday afternoon.

The Department of Public Safety says a woman driving a van crashed into several vehicles between McClintock Drive and Gilbert Road before crashing off the road.

The woman, 34-year-old Rachel Piekkola, ended up driving into a bush just 100 yards away from another car she had pushed off the road.

A DPS trooper began pursuit of the vehicle after reportedly registering Piekkola's speed at 106 MPH.

Debris from the woman's van tire caused damage to the trooper's windshield. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported.

Piekkol was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

"She was able to walk out under her own power," said Trooper John Milam.

She is under investigation for DUI and leaving the scene of a crash.

"If she did something dumb, she's going to be held accountable," said Dennis Ho.

Ho was driving home from work when he was rammed by the van and forced off the road and up to a gravel embankment.

"[First thought], just try not to die," said the Marine veteran and father. "Funny enough for my company, I just did my defensive driving training."

Despite the tense and terrifying moments for many Valley drivers, many of the people involved told ABC15 they are just happy no one was seriously hurt.

"All things considered, it's a good day. Going home alive," said Ho.

This is the second major police situation on the Loop 202 Wednesday.

Earlier in the day a carjacking and shooting happened westbound on the Loop 202, closing the freeway near 32nd Street. That suspect was later taken into custody in Chandler. Nobody was seriously injured in that incident.

The Loop 202 eastbound was closed for over an hour during the investigation but has since reopened.