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crash

Northbound traffic on SR 347 north of the gravel pit is at a near stand-still as troopers work a five-vehicle crash in the blowing dust. ADOT photo

A multi-vehicle accident on State Route 347 north of the gravel pit stopped northbound traffic this morning.

According to the Department of Public Safety, five vehicles were involved. The incident occurred at milepost 185 at around 10:28 a.m.

“Troopers and emergency personnel are on scene working to clear the road,” said DPS spokesman Quentin Mehr. “At this time, I do not have information on the number of injuries or severity.”

Blowing dust has been affecting the flow of traffic all morning on SR 347, and dust has been particularly heavy in that area.

Southbound traffic is meeting a wall of blowing dust on SR 347. ADOT photo

Matthew and Michael Voss passed away after a crash Sunday. Photo used by permission

Friends and family are organizing a memorial for two teens whose lives were tragically taken recently after a two-car collision in Thunderbird Farms.

The public is invited to a memorial Nov. 11 at Sequoia Pathway Academy, 19265 N Porter Road, hosted by Faith Baptist Church. The time is tentatively set for 3 p.m.

Seventeen-year-old Michael and his brother Matthew, 16, died due to injuries sustained in the rollover accident after police say another vehicle ran a stop sign at the Papago and Ralston roads intersection on Oct. 29.

The Voss family of six was heading home after church Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Wasilenski worships with the Voss family at Faith Baptist Church in Maricopa, a small congregation that meets at Sequoia Pathway Academy. He described the Voss family as great people, who are “quiet, meek and mild.”

Nathan Voss, father of Matthew and Michael, is a deacon there.

“He (Nathan) wrote a prayer this morning and he posted it to the public and everyone has to read it. I’ve never wept like that in my life. It’s a tough read, let me tell you,” Wasilenski said.

Nathan Voss published a prayer Nov. 1 on Facebook, days after the accident, expressing grief and faith in God.

It reads in part, “Dear Lord, precious Heavenly Father, You gave me two sons. I thank you for them. Throughout their time here on earth their bodies were ravaged and anguished with the horrible disease of Muscular Dystrophy, among other things. The 16 and 17 years we got to raise them, we got to watch them grow. And mature. And smile. Those years are so precious and memory-filled, and now those years are over. You have chosen to take them home. To bless them with new, glorious, disease-free bodies.”

The funeral for Matthew and Michael, limited to family and close friends only, will be held in the Valley Nov. 11 before the public memorial at Faith Baptist, which meets at Sequoia Pathway.

Family friend Mark Bruto da Costa organized an online fundraiser for the Voss family. The goal amount listed on the campaign is $200,000.

“There will undoubtedly be high medical, memorial and funeral expenses,” Bruto da Costa wrote. “Also, they will need another vehicle.”

Walinski said Nathan’s daughter, Leighann, had surgery to repair a broken arm.

“I think everyone at this point has been released from the hospital. The baby is OK and his wife are OK,” Wasilenski said.

Shortly after news spread of the Matthew and Michael’s deaths, the community took to social media to offer condolences and support.

“I didn’t expect 300 people that I’ve never met to make comments,” Wasilenski said. “I love our community. Everybody has just been awesome.”

Photo by Mason Callejas

First responders transported an 18-year-old passenger and 16-year-old motorist to the hospital Wednesday afternoon following a collision on the State Route 347 and Edison Road intersection.

The accident involved a midsized SUV and a passenger vehicle around 2:19 p.m., said Maricopa Fire/Medical Department spokesman Brad Pitassi.

Emergency crews evaluated the 18-year-old female passenger of the SUV for a non-life-threatening head injury, Pitassi said.

The woman was reportedly not wearing her seatbelt during the accident, causing her head to hit the vehicle’s windshield, Pitassi said. The woman was later transported to the hospital.

Three others inside the SUV were wearing seatbelts.

The other car, Pitassi said, was a passenger-vehicle driven by a 16-year-old female motorist.

“She was wearing her seat belt, and her parents have asked her to be transported to the hospital for further evaluation,” Pitassi said.

Police temporarily restricted traffic in the area. Pitassi said crews are working to reopen the intersection.

Maricopa Police Department is investigating the cause of the accident. Updates to this developing story will be posted to InMaricopa.com.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Photo by Bruce McLaughlin

A 17-year-old boy in a wheelchair died at the hospital Sunday after being ejected from a vehicle in a two-car collision in Thunderbird Farms, a spokeswoman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said.

The fatal accident occurred at approximately 2:29 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the intersection of Ralston and Papago Roads in unincorporated Maricopa.

Prior to the collision, a gray minivan carrying at least five passengers was westbound on Papago Road.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Navideh Forghani said a driver of a 2018 black Acura driving north on Ralston failed to stop at the intersection’s stop sign and continued north through the roadway.

The driver of the minivan struck the rear passenger-side of the Acura, causing the van to spin into the northwest corner of the intersection and roll onto its side, Forghani said.

“In the middle row seats of the van were two individuals who were in wheel chairs. One of those individuals was ejected from the vehicle,” Forghani said. “That 17-year-old died from his injuries at the hospital.”

Forghani said the second person in a wheel chair received “moderate injuries.”

A 1-year-old and a 39-year-old in the rear seat of the minivan were both uninjured. Another person in the van, described by PCSO as a juvenile, suffered a broken arm.

Charges are pending against the driver of the Acura. PCSO said that driver’s condition is unknown.

Residents nearby reported hearing sirens, seeing a medivac helicopter and multiple emergency responders at the scene Sunday afternoon.

The minivan’s “entire left side (was) ripped off,” said Amy Rogers-Boterman who lives in a neighborhood not far from the intersection.

The Acura’s “front end (was) completely smashed,” Rogers-Boterman said. “(It) looked like one of the people in the minivan was dressed up to go somewhere.”

PCSO has not released the victim’s name.

 

Two people dies in the crash last week on SR 347 north of Riggs Road. Photo by Donna Atkins

The Department of Public Safety said a Maricopa woman was one of two people killed after a deadly three-car-collision on State Route 347 last week.

Gail Gutierrez, 65, of Maricopa, and Glendale resident Barry Kimura, 66, died at the hospital Oct. 18 from injuries sustained in the accident, DPS Spokesman Quentin Mehr said.

A 50-year-old Maricopa woman driving a Toyota pickup was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The accident occurred on southbound SR 347, north of the Riggs Road intersection at 1:14 p.m. Oct. 18.

“At that time a Kia passenger vehicle driven by (Gutierrez), and a Toyota pickup, driven by a 50-year-old female from Maricopa, were in the inside lane on southbound SR 347, slowing from traffic ahead of them,” Mehr said. “A Toyota passenger vehicle, driven by (Kimura), failed to slow for the traffic and struck the Kia and Toyota pickup.”

DPS previously said Kimura was not wearing a seat belt and suffered major head trauma.

The accident shut down the roadway for hours while authorities investigated the scene.

Photo by Mason Callejas

At least four people have been transported to the hospital after a minivan crashed through the front doors of Honeycutt Coffee Monday morning.

Police described the driver as a woman in her 40s or early 50s. Also inside the vehicle at the time of the crash was a female passenger in her 70s.

“The driver went to put the car into park, and according to her, the gas pedal went to the floor and the vehicle went through the building,” said Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado.

Police said both women were transported to Chandler Regional Hospital for possible injuries. Police are investigating whether impairment is a factor.

Around 11: 30 a.m., witnesses nearby said they heard a crash and found glass, tables and chairs strewn across the ground.

Six people were inside the building at the time, including four patrons and two employees.

Customers Adam Hanson and Justin Lunsford were sitting at a table near the entrance when the front of the vehicle plowed through.

“We were sitting right there and we heard a screeching noise and all of a sudden everything moved this way,” Hanson said.

A mother and her young daughter were at a table closest to the front doors. The mother said she and her child were thrown to the ground from the force.

Maricopa Fire/Medical Department assessed injuries of the mother and daughter, but it is unclear at this time if they were also transported to the hospital.

Alvarado confirmed at least two people inside the building have been transported for medical attention.

MPD said an officer processing the scene found medication inside the vehicle, but it still unknown if the medication belonged to the driver, what effects the medication has on the body, and even if she consumed any prior to driving, Alvarado said.

“Our drug recognition experts will be the one taking the case,” Alvarado said. “They will be doing follow-up at the hospital since the driver was already transported.”

Arizona Department of Transportation

The Arizona Department of Transportation is reporting northbound lanes on SR 347 are now open after being closed for more than an hour due to a multi-car accident near Riggs Road.

Unconfirmed reports from bystanders indicate multiple vehicles were involved in the accident including a motorcycle, pick-up truck and semitrailer.

There are no confirmed injuries or fatalities at this time.

Updates will be made to this story as more information becomes available.

ADOT is using this map to indicate continued slow traffic in the region due to a fatal crash on SR 347 today.

State Route 347 will remain closed in both directions throughout the evening following an earlier crash at Riggs Road, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Southbound lanes are closed at Interstate 10. Troopers are directing northbound traffic onto Riggs.

Delays on I-10 are extensive due to detouring traffic which stretches from Chandler  Boulevard to Casa Blanca Road. Spillover traffic is also affected the southbound lanes of neighboring SR 587 and 87

Motorists planning to travel on I-10 eastbound through the Valley should consider taking SR 85 near Buckeye to I-8 instead. I-8 reconnects to I-10 near Casa Grande.

A serious injury, multiple-vehicle crash has blocked the northbound lanes of State Route 347, according to the Department of Public Safety.

The accident is described as a rollover.

The collision was about three miles north of Maricopa, just north of Casa Blanca Road.

Drivers heading north are being directed onto Casa Blanca to Interstate 10.

The southbound lanes are open, but traffic is moving slowly and backup is lengthy while first responders provide assistance on the scene.

There is no estimated time to reopen the northbound lanes, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

 

 

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Blowing dust is being blamed for a series of accidents in the southbound lanes of State Route 347.

 

There is a traffic back-up of about 2 miles from the Riggs Road interchange, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.

 

Two crashes have been reported south of Riggs Road in the southbound lanes. SR 347 is closed southbound at Riggs. Southbound traffic will be directed to Riggs Road and east to Interstate 10. The northbound lanes of SR 347 are closed at Casa Blanca Road. Drivers will be routed to eastbound Casa Blanca Road to return to I-10.

 

Motorists should plan for heavy delays and try to avoid the area. There is no estimated time to reopen the highway.

 

The National Weather Service has issued a blowing dust advisory in the area until 8 p.m. Expect gusts of 30-35 mph and visibility of less than a mile. This can lead to hazardous travel conditions.

 

If you encounter blowing dust or blowing sand on the roadway or see it approaching, pull off the road as far as possible and put your vehicle in park, turn off the lights and keep your foot off the brake pedal.

 

 

The remains of a pickup truck are hauled away from the remains of a house after a fatal crash. PCSO photo

A truck backed into a Hidden Valley home Wednesday night, causing a fire and leaving the driver dead. Two people in the home were rescued, but the house and a nearby recreational vehicle were destroyed.

The deceased man has not yet been identified.

The residents did not recognize him or his truck and did not know why he was on the property in the 1900 block of Brower Lane.

According to Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, the pickup truck backed into the house at around 10:30 p.m.

“At this point in the investigation, it appears as though the truck backed into a corner of the house and got stuck,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said. “The truck engine raced as the rear tires spun and disintegrated. The spinning tires appear to have ignited the fire, which quickly consumed the house, truck and RV.”

The crash awoke the man and woman in the house. They found the male driver unresponsive. When the house ignited, the couple fled to the back yard, and became trapped.

A PCSO deputy and U.S. Border Patrol arrived on the scene at about the same time to find the house and truck fully engulfed in flames. They heard screaming from the back yard, where they found the residents trapped in fenced area with their two dogs.

The enclosure was six-foot wrought-iron fencing with a locked gate that the couple could not open or climb over. The border agent knocked down a section with his vehicle to free them. The two people, both 57, had only minor injuries.

“I am thankful for the quick actions of the deputy and the U.S. Border Patrol agent to get this couple and their dogs safely away from the burning house,” Babeu said.

The incident is under investigation.

SR 238 has been closed to westbound traffic most of the day. Photo by Ethan McSweeney

State Route 238 has been closed to through-traffic since 11: 25 a.m. and remains closed until further notice after a fatal crash, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Officials closed the road starting at milepost 40, about four miles west of SR 347 near Ralston Road, to give traffic an alternative route around the site. The actual crash was much farther west near State Route 85 in Maricopa County.

Local traffic is still allowed through.

According to the Department of Public Safety, a rollover collision blocked traffic in both directions. The DPS commercial vehicle enforcement unit assisted Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

 

SR238-crash2_McSweeney_6.28

Seven vehicles were reportedly involved in a crash on SR 347 near Riggs Road Thursday morning. Photo by Scott Bartle

Traffic on State Route 347 was blocked Thursday morning by multi-vehicle collision.

Seven vehicles were reportedly involved in the crash that occurred around 7:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes just south of Riggs Road.

Traffic was backed up to the Gila River for about an hour until the left lane was cleared.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Photo by Scott Bartle
Photo by Scott Bartle