DPS: 5 dead after a multi-vehicle freeway crash near Phoenix

January 12, 2023 GMT

CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — At least five people died Thursday in a fiery crash involving semi-trucks on a freeway east of Phoenix, according to authorities.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials originally said three people died in the chain-reaction crash that occurred around 6 a.m. Thursday and blocked multiple lanes of Interstate 10 in Chandler.

A big rig crashed into a passenger car that was pushed into another semi-truck and two other vehicles, DPS said.

Authorities said it appears most of the victims were trapped inside the burning vehicles as the resulting fire from the crash lasted about two hours.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves said speed was a factor in the crash along with inattention on the part of the big rig driver.

It’s not immediately known if that driver — or anyone else — survived the crash.

The names and ages of the five known victims haven’t been released yet.