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Updated Apr 5, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Interstate 17 crash kills 1; others to face charges

Police closed off the scene of a fatal accident on Interstate 17 in Phoenix on Saturday, April 5. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- A woman who was in a vehicle that crashed Saturday morning on a Phoenix interstate is dead after being hit multiple times, authorities said.

The woman was in a Chevrolet Malibu that slammed into a median wall while heading north sometime before 5:20 a.m. on Interstate 17 near Thunderbird Road, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said.

The Chevrolet lost control and slammed into a median wall, and a Mercury Cougar then hit the car, Graves said. The woman was struck by several cars on the other side of the median and died on the scene.

Another driver, who stopped to offer aid, was struck by an SUV, Graves said.

Anyone who sees any accidents should just call 911, he said.

``I know it's a very strong human emotion to render aid, but think carefully,'' Graves said. ``The urban freeway system at night is very dangerous all around.''

The good Samaritan driver, an occupant in the Chevrolet and the Mercury driver all have non-life-threatening injuries, Graves said.

The medical examiner will have to determine if the woman killed was impaired in any way.

Investigators originally assumed the woman who died was the driver of the Chevrolet, Graves said. However, as details emerged from the scene, authorities discovered she was a passenger in the car and she was ejected into the other side of the highway as the Mercury crashed into the Chevrolet.

The driver of the SUV that struck the good Samaritan left but returned to the scene and was cooperating with authorities, authorities said.

The Malibu driver faces a manslaughter charge, and the SUV driver faces a felony hit-and-run charge, he said.

DPS kept I-17 closed in the area in both directions for several hours. Before noon, traffic was reopened going southbound. Around 1:30 p.m., DPS opened the northbound lanes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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