Authorities say a 24-year-old woman was the driver killed when her wrong-way car collided head-on with a Greyhound bus on Interstate 10 in Goodyear.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr says impairment is suspected in the Friday morning crash that killed Sarah Castillo-Cornejo of Peoria.
She was dead at the scene while 13 passengers on the bus were taken to hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
We just spoke with the family of wrong way driver Sarah Cornejo. They want to apologize to everyone that was hurt in the crash. pic.twitter.com/IhKU8Bkk0l
— Chris Gros (@ChrisGrosABC15) November 25, 2016
Officials say the bus was carrying 35 passengers and the driver and was en route to Phoenix from San Bernardino, California.
Greyhound representative Lanesha Gipson says another bus took uninjured passengers to Phoenix to finish or continue their travel.
A GoFundMe set up by Castillo-Cornejo's family said she leaves behind two young children. The 24-year-old's family is asking for assistance to cover funeral expenses.
Jordan Cortez was one of the drivers Castillo-Cornejo flew past on I-10. He was Black Friday shopping for his son with his two friends when they saw headlights coming straight at them.
“At two in the morning I figured everything would be settled down, I never expected to be playing chicken on the highway at a high rate of speed," Cortez said.
He called 911 and didn’t learn until they got home that car ended up crashing into a busload of people and the driver died. That’s when he said the weight of what they’d just experienced really started to sink in.
"Thank God I'm still here, my friends are still here, because it could've ended differently," Cortez said who learned in the hours that followed, in a bizarre twist of fate, that he and Castillo-Cornejo share mutual friends.
He believes the crash should serve as a wakeup call to everyone this holiday season.
“We have to talk about finding an alternative to getting behind the wheel if you are drinking, if you’re even slightly impaired," he said. "If it was a bus, it could’ve been another family with an ending we don’t want to see."