UPDATED: ADOT reopened eastbound U.S. 60 at Florence Junction just after 8:30 a.m.
A report of domestic violence spawned a chase through Pinal County that ended in a wrong-way crash that not only put the suspect in the hospital but also killed an innocent woman and injured another man.
Eastbound U.S. 60 is closed at Florence Junction (State Route 79), which is past the Arizona Renaissance Festival near Gold Canyon, because of the crash.
The head-on wreck was reported about 4 miles east of the U.S. 60 junction with SR-79 just after 10 p.m. Monday.
“The vehicle that caused the collision was driven by an 18-year-old male that is suspected of being involved in a domestic violence assault in Globe,” Department of Public Safety Trooper Kameron Lee explained in a news release.
Lee said the girlfriend reported that the suspect had assaulted her earlier in the evening.
“During an attempt to contact the suspect, he drove toward Globe police officers, causing them to move out of the way to avoid being struck,” Lee said. “A pursuit then ensued westbound on US60 towards Miami.”
The Miami Police Department picked up the pursuit. The Superior Police Department lent its assistance as the suspect entered its jurisdiction.
“Both police departments terminated their pursuit when they lost sight of the vehicle in a construction zone near the Superior Airport,” Lee said.
Pinal County deputies located the crash scene about 7 miles away from where police lost the suspect.
“Preliminary information indicates the suspect drove westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic, striking two other vehicles,” according to Lee.
The woman who was driving the first vehicle hit by the suspect was killed. Her passenger, a man, was air-lifted to Chandler Regional Medical Center.
The driver of the other vehicle hit by the suspect was treated on the scene but refused transport to the hospital.
Lee said the suspect, who was also air-lifted to Chandler Regional Medical Center, is facing charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault and criminal damage.
Investigators have not released the names of anybody involved in the incident.
The Arizona Department of Transportation had U.S. 60 eastbound closed at SR-79; traffic was detoured south on SR-79. ADOT had flaggers at the junction of U.S. 60 and SR- 79 advising people of alternate routes. There was no official detour in place beyond the junction.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS