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.

Get the latest KTAR News 92.3 FM traffic alerts sent straight to your phone by texting “TRAFFIC” to 411923.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

2 hours ago

Arizona woman sentenced for mail fraud...

Nick Borgia

Green Valley woman sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly clients

A Green Valley insurance agent was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for mail fraud, according to a press release.

4 hours ago

Fire breaks out in home where man accused of shooting his baby...

Suspect identified in Surprise police standoff case that involved baby shooting and house fire

A man was accused of shooting his baby in a Surprise residence he broke into on Friday. A fire later broke out in the house, officials said.

5 hours ago

north mountain brush fire...

Nick Borgia

Firefighters achieve fire control on brush fire near North Mountain in Phoenix

Firefighters have achieved fire control on a brush fire near 7th Street and Thunderbird Road, authorities said Saturday.

6 hours ago


Nick Borgia

Fire crews responding to wildfire near Vista Verde in Tonto National Forest

Fire crews are responding to a wildfire near Vista Verde, north of Dynamite Boulevard and 136th Street on the Cave Creek Ranger District.

7 hours ago

David Pagniano....

Man sentenced to life in prison for burying wife alive in grave north of Prescott

A man from Prescott was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for burying his wife alive in a grave north of Prescott.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

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