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2 killed in wrong-way wreck on highway near Phoenix

Two women were killed and three passengers were injured Monday night when a wrong-way driver smashed into another sedan on a highway near Phoenix.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Kameron Lee said a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old were also hurt in the wreck on State Route 347 and Riggs Road. Both drivers died.

A third vehicle hit one of the disabled cars but that driver was unharmed.

Authorities said the wrong-way driver. Karen Ankiewcz, 70, of Sun City West, was alone in a Hyundai, going north in southbound lanes around 8:20 p.m. She crashed head-on into a Chrysler 300 carrying four people.

Julissa Torres, 26, of Maricopa, was killed when Ankiewcz hit her car.

A 26-year-old man and the children riding with Torres were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

The driver of the third car, a 57-year-old man and two teenage passengers were taken to the hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

The roadway was closed until early Tuesday.

“We’ve had 24 wrong-way collisions this year in Arizona and almost 650 calls for service about wrong-way drivers,” Lee said.

Last year, his department logged 1,729 calls about wrong-way drivers on the freeways and highways, although not all of them were actual wrong-ways.