Deadly semi-truck crash, fire shuts down NB I-17 at Deer Valley Road

I17 Deer Valley crash
Posted at 4:40 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 19:46:19-04

PHOENIX — Northbound lanes of Interstate 17 were shut down early Friday morning due to a fiery collision involving two semi-trucks.

The crash occurred around 4 a.m. near Deer Valley Road.

Video from the Arizona Department of Transportation showed a large plume of smoke and heavy flames coming from the wrecked trucks.

Arizona Department of Public Safety says a truck with double trailers had a power failure and was stopped in the lanes of traffic. A second truck reportedly stopped off the roadway trying to assist the driver and help direct traffic out of the way. However, a third truck reportedly rear-ended the disabled truck, causing a large fire.

The driver who struck the disabled semi was killed in the crash. DPS says it appears the driver attempted to stop or swerve away from the disabled truck but did not have enough room to avoid a collision.

DPS says all of the trucks involved were Shamrock Foods Company trucks.

"We are devastated that a fatal incident involving one of our associates occurred and our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to his loved ones," the company said.

Patricia Beckstead lives near the crash site and heard the explosion.

"Like a bomb going off, I mean it was loud," she said.

According to Beckstead embers from the crash site were flying over the interstate into a mobile home park.

"I was worried that it was going to come across the highway," Beckstead said.

"All these mobile homes are very old and I thought if that jumps the highways, this trailer park would be engulfed in flames in no time," she said.

Impairment is not believed to be a factor in the crash at this time.

Northbound lanes remained closed for several hours and reopened around 11:30 a.m.