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Deadly head-on crash shuts down US 93 near Wickenburg

Deadly head-on crash shuts down US 93 near Wickenburg
Posted at 2:23 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 13:49:13-04

WICKENBURG, AZ — The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a deadly head-on crash closed US 93 near Wickenburg Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred at milepost 169, in the same area where a driver of a van was killed after veering into oncoming traffic and hitting a semi-truck.

DPS says around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the driver of a pickup truck crossed the center lane and struck a semi-truck head-on, causing the deadly crash.

DPS says both vehicles caught fire after the impact. The pickup truck driver, who has not yet been identified due to the severity of the crash and fire, was pronounced dead. The semi-truck driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Both northbound and southbound lanes of US 93 remained closed for hours while crews worked to clear the scene.

US 93 is the main travel route between Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is also the proposed route for Interstate 11.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, more than $500 million was spent in recent years to improve the highway, including upgrading portions from a two-lane to a four-lane, divided freeway. About 34 miles remain two-lane road.

There have been 35 deaths in vehicle crashes on the highway from Wickenburg to Wikieup in the six-year period from 2015 to 2020, according to data from ADOT and DPS.

There were several years of declining fatalities in this area, then a sharp increase in 2020 when 9 people died.

Congress's fire chief said there are too many impatient drivers and risky passing, especially on the two-lane section shown in red on the map below.

See our full investigation analyzing crash data on US 93 here.