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5 injured in wrong-way crash on Interstate 17 in Phoenix

PHOENIX – Five people were injured, three seriously, when a wrong-way driver smashed into three vehicles on Interstate 17 in Phoenix on Monday night, authorities said.

The driver, identified only as a 40-year-old man from Cave Creek, suffered life-threatening injuries, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

He was driving a black Dodge sedan and is believed to have been impaired by drugs, DPS said.

DPS expects the man to be hospitalized for an extended time.

Four people in the other vehicles — the three drivers and one passenger — were also hospitalized, two with serious injuries.

Reports of a driver heading northbound on southbound I-17 near Jefferson Street started about 9:30 p.m., DPS said.

The accident occurred near the Thomas Road exit and shut down southbound traffic from around 9:40 p.m. until 2 a.m.

According to DPS, troopers had responded to 42 wrong-way collisions as of Sept. 9.

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