Wrong-way driver in Mesa crashes into car carrying 3 on Loop 202

Mar 29, 2018, 6:05 AM | Updated: 10:44 am
(Twitter Photo/ArizonaDOT)...
(Twitter Photo/ArizonaDOT)
(Twitter Photo/ArizonaDOT)

PHOENIX — A wrong-way driver trying to avoid authorities smashed into another car on a Phoenix-area freeway, injuring himself and three others early Thursday.

All four were taken to hospitals from the accident Loop 202 near the U.S. 60 interchange in Mesa. One of the victims had to be extricated from the wreckage but none of them had suffered life-threatening injuries.

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety said the suspect had been driving in the median when an off-duty police officer tried to pull him over around 1:30 a.m.

Instead of complying, the driver turned around, getting past a cable barrier, returning to the blacktop but heading north into southbound lanes, where he hit a car carrying three people.

The freeway stretch was closed for about four hours, reopening around 5 a.m.

Earlier this week, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill that will charge highway drivers under the influence with the newly created aggravated DUI, a Class 4 felony.

No other details of the accident were immediately available.

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Wrong-way driver in Mesa crashes into car carrying 3 on Loop 202