PHOENIX — The National Transportation Safety Board will send investigators to Arizona on Thursday to investigate a fiery and deadly crash between a tanker truck and multiple other vehicles overnight that killed four people and injured nine others.
The crash happened late Wednesday on the eastbound Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway near the Van Buren Street exit, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
At least seven vehicles were involved in the crash, DPS said, including a tanker truck that was hauling milk at the time.
L-202 EB (Red Mountain) near Van Buren Street: A vehicle fire is blocking all lanes (and sending heavy smoke over the WB lanes).— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) June 10, 2021
Check your route before heading out with AZ 511 & ADOT Alerts apps: https://t.co/18uQYLoqla#L202 #PHXtraffic pic.twitter.com/7MeiwNmqIq
A DPS spokesperson said they believe the freeway became congested with traffic and that the driver of the tanker truck may have failed to slow down and then collided with the other vehicles.
Part of the tanker truck separated as a result of the crash and crossed into the westbound lanes, another part caught fire, and both fuel and milk were leaking from the truck.
Four people were declared dead at the scene, DPS said. Their identities have not been released.
Six others -- three men in their 20s, a woman in her 20s, a 45-year-old man, and a 42-year-old woman -- were taken to trauma centers in critical condition. Three other patients -- two men in their 20s and a 6-year-old girl -- were taken to hospitals in stable condition.
Another man was evaluated at the scene and did not need to be taken to the hospital, DPS said.
The NTSB said in a tweet that it would send nine investigators to Arizona. Those investigators were expected to arrive sometime on Thursday.
In cooperation with Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, NTSB is sending 9 investigators to conduct a safety investigation into the June 9, 2021, fatal, multi-vehicle crash on Loop 202, Red Mountain Freeway, Phoenix. NTSB investigators are expected to arrive on scene later Thursday.— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) June 10, 2021
The freeway was closed in both directions for most of the night. The westbound lanes reopened around 5 a.m. Thursday, followed by the eastbound lanes a few hours later.
DPS has since identified the victims as:
- Sedeqwa Keyara-Parker, 35, of Phoenix
- Dante Brubeck, 20, of Casa Grande
- Alexius Hooper, 21, of Phoenix
- Jennifer Vidal, 20, of Casa Grande