Impairment suspected in wrong-way crash that injured 2 on Phoenix freeway: DPS

Two drivers were injured in a wrong-way crash early Friday morning along a Phoenix freeway.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says they received reports of a vehicle heading southbound in the northbound lanes of State Route 51 at around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 4.

Minutes later, 911 callers reported a head-on crash near Thomas Road.

DPS said the wrong-way driver is a 44-year-old woman from Phoenix. Both she and the other driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

"Anytime with a wrong-way crash, we usually expect the worst, and that's not a good thing to say, but you guys have been out here a lot of times too. We see wrong ways and usually someone [is] seriously physically injured or death [sic], so it's a God bless that they're doing OK at the moment," Sgt. Jacob Melki said.

The wrong-way driver was in the left lanes near the median. DPS suggests if you're driving late at night to stay in the right lanes because wrong-way drivers typically travel in the left lanes.

"The wrong-way driver was suspected of impairment and was admitted to the hospital," DPS spokesman Bart Graves said. "A criminal investigation is ongoing. Charges are pending."

State Route 51 is back open at Thomas Road.

This crash comes just a week after two people were killed in a wrong-way crash on the Loop 303. The driver in that crash allegedly had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.

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