Three people died when a wrong-way driver caused a head-on crash on southbound Interstate 17 on Friday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Three people are dead and four others in critical condition after a head-on collision caused by a wrong-way driver and involving a family in a van on southbound Interstate 17 Friday morning, said an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman.
The driver of the wrong-way vehicle was among three adults injured and flown to John C. Lincoln-North Mountain Hospital in Phoenix, said Raul Garcia of DPS. An injured child was flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital, he said.
The wrong-way driver has not been named. Police said they would recommend vehicular homicide charges to prosecutors.
DPS officials said the driver of the other vehicle is Harianto (one name only), 42 of Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Police said Harianto's extended family was visiting from Indonesia including three adults who died as a result of the crash.
Evan Christian Hendriadi, 50, Jenny Sudjono, 70, and Lioe Kim Tjhiuw, 78, were found deceased.
Fenny Sudjono, 47, and a 9-year-old boy, Ryan Christian, were rushed to Phoenix-area hospitals in critical condition but are expected to survive.
The suspect driver, a man in his 60s from Phoenix, was traveling alone in a Chrysler 300 sedan and was believed to be impaired, said Carrick Cook of DPS.
The collision just after 4:30 a.m. closed southbound Interstate 17 just south of the Sunset Point Rest Area near the Bumble Bee exit for seven hours, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Garcia said DPS received numerous 911 calls about 4 a.m. regarding the wrong-way driver on Pioneer Road.
Five DPS officers and a helicopter tried to intercept the driver as he drove north in the southbound lanes of I-17, and a sixth officer from Cordes Junction was called in before the vehicle crashed head-on into the family's minivan at milepost 248.
It was the second fatal head-on collision involving an impaired driver on an Arizona interstate in five days.
On Monday, Mesa police officer Brandon Mendoza was returning home from work shortly after midnight when his car was struck head-on by a drunken driver going the wrong way on a flyover ramp near U.S. 60 and the Loop 101.
Mendoza and the driver of the second car, Raul Silva Corona, died in the fiery crash.
No other information was immediately available.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
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