CORDES JUNCTION – A fatal multi-vehicle collision involving a jack-knifed semi-truck on Interstate 17 near Cordes Junction took the lives of two drivers and critically injured a passenger around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Three children were transferred to a Phoenix hospital.
A 2017 White Freightliner semi-truck was traveling southbound on I-17 near milepost 270 when the driver lost control in heavy rain and jack-knifed the vehicle into the median, partially blocking the left lane, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Those traveling in a 2016 silver Nissan sedan, a 2010 white Ford sedan, and a 2001 Hyundai sedan all pulled over into the emergency lane to help.
The driver of a 2015 blue Volvo semi-truck saw the vehicles off right with their flashers on and changed lanes from the right lane to the left lane.
The driver didn’t see the jack-knifed semi in the median that was partially blocking the lane, as it was mostly blacked out due to collision damage, said DPS Public Information Officer Quentin G. Mehr.
The 2015 Volvo struck the 2017 Freightliner which redirected the Volvo back across the right lane and into the three sedans parked on the emergency shoulder.
The driver of the silver Nissan was deceased on scene and the passenger is in extremely critical condition at a hospital in Phoenix, according to DPS.
“The driver of the white Ford sedan is believed to have been outside of the vehicle when struck by the semi-truck and was deceased on scene,” said Mehr.
Three children and an adult out of the 2001 Hyundai were transported to Phoenix Children’s Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
DPS said next of kin is still pending.
Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority responded with Mayor Fire District and Verde Valley Fire District assisting.
“A total of three engine companies and four ambulances were utilized. Due to inclement weather, medical helicopters could not be used,” stated a news release from CCFMA.