The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that there are approximately 260 wrong way crashes that happen each year, resulting in the deaths of more than 330 people each year. Almost all can be attributed to driver error that can be for several reasons like distracted driving, driver confusion, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A wrong-way crash near Twin Arrows as reported on the AZ Family website has left one person dead and another person seriously injured. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a statement that the crash happened on Sunday, June 2nd in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 near milepost 218 at approximately 1:00 p.m.
DPS said that a Kia had been traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes when it collided head-on with an RV being driven by an older man. Both vehicles caught fire after impact.
Tom Larson, an eyewitness to the scene, said he and others worked to get the 76-year-old man out of the burning RV. Just before the accident, Larson recounted that the man driving the RV attempted to swerve onto the median before the two vehicles hit head-on. Good Samaritans were able to free the man from the burning RV by breaking a window with a fire extinguisher.
The man, whose identity has not been released by authorities, was from Pearblossom, California. He was rushed to Flagstaff Medical Center. Officials have given no further information about his current condition.
The female driver of the Kia was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. DPS has not released her identity pending notification of family members.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation by DPS.