3 GCU students killed in multivehicle wrong-way crash on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix

Oct 10, 2022, 3:30 PM | Updated: 5:14 pm

PHOENIX – Three Grand Canyon University students were killed in a multivehicle wrong-way collision on a freeway north of Phoenix early Monday, the institution said.

Hunter Balberdi, 19, and Abriauna Hoffman and Magdalyn Ogden, both 18, died after a wrong-way driver struck their car on Interstate 17 past New River at Table Mesa Road shortly before 4 a.m.

The three women, all freshmen, were suitemates. Hoffman and Ogden were from Clarkston, Washington. Balberdi was a native of Wailuku, Hawaii.

“As the GCU family joins together to mourn the tragic loss of these students, we ask that you keep their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and know that God is always there for us,” the university said in a statement.

Four vehicles were involved in the collision after the wrong-way driver traveling southbound hit the car of GCU students traveling northbound.

Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical said a total of four people were taken to the hospital, and three people needed to be extricated from their vehicles. Two were pronounced dead at the scene. The third died at a hospital.

The wrong-way driver was taken to a hospital unconscious. People in the other two vehicles sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

The crash closed northbound I-17 for about seven hours, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

No other details were immediately made available.

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3 GCU students killed in multivehicle wrong-way crash on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix