The driver of this mangled Jeep died after colliding with a produce truck. The Jeep's driver was going the wrong way in the northbound lanes. (Source: CBS 5 News)
ANTHEM, AZ (CBS5) -
A man driving a Jeep the wrong way on Interstate 17 died after colliding head-on with a produce truck, forcing the closure of northbound I-17 for a few hours in the north Phoenix community of Anthem early Monday morning.
John F. Maxwell, 34, of Anthem, died in the head-on crash just after 12:10 a.m. Monday, said Raul Garcia of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The driver and passenger in the northbound tractor-trailer, a woman and her boyfriend from Michigan, and a dog were not hurt and told an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer they had no time to react to the speeding Jeep sport utility vehicle.
The Jeep was reported to have entered I-17 at New River and was heading south in the northbound lanes before the crash. DPS officers were looking for the vehicle when they were alerted to a crash.
Bart Graves of DPS said impairment or a medical condition had not been ruled out as factors in the crash, and that the Maricopa County Medical Examiner would make that determination.
The impact sent the Jeep into the desert, where it rolled, Graves said.
The crash closed northbound I-17 between Daisy Mountain Road and Anthem Way, but all lanes were reopened by 9:30 a.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Motorists were forced to exit at Daisy Mountain to get to Gavilan Peak Parkway and return to I-17 until the northbound lanes could be reopened.