Child dead, driver faces potential charges after back-to-back crashes on US 60 in Tempe

Feb 13, 2024, 12:45 PM | Updated: 12:48 pm

PHOENIX – A child is dead and a driver faces potential criminal charges after back-to-back crashes on US 60 in Tempe on Monday morning, authorities said.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety on Tuesday released new details about the incident, which tied up rush hour traffic on the East Valley freeway.

Eight vehicles, including a loaded commercial dump truck, were caught up in the first crash, which occurred around 7:55 a.m. Monday on westbound US 60 between Rural and McClintock roads.

One adult and four children were hospitalized, including an 8-year-old girl who did not survive her injuries, DPS said. The children had been riding in an SUV that apparently set off the collision when it changed lanes, DPS said.

A pickup truck pulling a utility vehicle broke through the concrete barrier wall during the pileup and ended up on its side in the eastbound lanes.

How did the second crash on US 60 happen?

About 25 minutes after the first crash, while emergency crews were working at the scene, an eastbound SUV ran into the back of an unoccupied DPS trooper vehicle.

The driver, a 44-year-old man from Litchfield Park, suffered unspecified injuries that required hospitalization.

DPS said he’s facing charges for DUI drugs, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia when he gets out of the hospital.

How did the collisions affect traffic in East Valley?

The crashes created significant backups in both directions of US 60 throughout the morning commute Monday.

The westbound freeway was completely closed at the Loop 101 Price Freeway for several hours, while eastbound traffic was partially restricted.

The westbound lanes reopened around 12:15 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

This an updated version of a story originally published on Feb 12, 2024.

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Child dead, driver faces potential charges after back-to-back crashes on US 60 in Tempe