BLACK CANYON CITY – Troopers responded to a multiple vehicle collision which blocked southbound I-17 for several hours on Sunday evening, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
DPS said around 5:45 p.m. a single vehicle collision occurred on southbound I-17, north of Black Canyon City - the rider of a motorcycle lost control and was thrown off the motorcycle into the lanes of traffic.
Motorists stopped for the motorcyclist and traffic began to backup.
Shortly after the initial incident – around 5:48 p.m. - a commercial semi-truck, traveling southbound, failed to stop as it approached the backup and struck the rear end of a tour bus, according to the release.
DPS said the collision caused the tour bus to collide with a pickup truck that was in front of the bus. The semi-truck then ran off the roadway to the right and over the top of the guardrail, according to the release.
“This secondary collision completely blocked all lanes of traffic resulting in an extended closure of southbound I-17. Emergency responders from multiple agencies responded to treat and transport the injured to area hospitals. A second tour bus had to respond to the scene to help transport approximately 27 passengers who had slight or no injuries away from the scene. Several tow trucks responded to remove the involved vehicles and clean up the road,” stated DPS in the release.
DPS said the motorcyclist was transported to Honor Health North Mountain for his injuries. Five occupants from the pickup and five passengers on the tour bus were transported for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to the release, and the occupants of the semi-truck were uninjured.
Captain Manera, AZDPS District 12 Commander said, “When collisions occur, troopers and emergency personnel respond and work hard to attend to the injured, assist the uninjured, and clear the road as soon as possible.”
Traffic was at a standstill for nearly five hours.
Public Information Officer Peter Corbett with the Arizona Department of Transportation said I-17 was closed at milepost 246 at 6:12 p.m.
The closure was extended to milepost 262, and southbound traffic was routed onto SR 69 for an alternate route to Phoenix, according to ADOT.
I-17 reopened at 10:56 p.m., said Corbett.