VALLE VISTA - A fiery multi-vehicle crash on Route 66 in Valle Vista Tuesday night sent four people to Las Vegas hospitals, and one of the drivers involved faces a criminal investigation after drugs were reportedly found in his truck.
Perhaps the most seriously injured was a young woman who sustained several broken bones. The pickup she was driving burst into flames and burned. She and the other three injured people are expected to survive, according to Bart Graves, media relations manager with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Graves was unable to provide most of the names, ages or hometowns of the victims by the close of business Wednesday, but he did identify the driver DPS believes is at fault as Robert Harden, who was driving a Toyota truck when he reportedly made a left turn in front of the unidentified woman at Route 66 and Concho Drive.
"We haven't ruled out impairment on the part of (Harden)," said Graves. "Drugs were found in that truck. Aggravated assault charges may be pending."
Harden had two male passengers. All three men were described as being in their 20s. Information on the other three drivers involved was unavailable.
Firefighters responded to the five-car accident at the intersection of Route 66 and Concho Drive at about 6:15 p.m.
The initial report was of a car fire, but when responders arrived they found the wreckage and the woman's pickup fully engulfed in flames, said Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District Battalion Chief Jason Scott.
"This was a serious injury collision," said Graves.
Graves said investigators believe the at-fault driver struck the other vehicles.
"We had four Level I traumas," Scott said. "Two were flown by CareFlight to Las Vegas hospitals and two were driven by ambulance. We had one person refuse treatment."
The crash was the second multi-vehicle incident DPS officers responded to on Tuesday. Shortly after noon, three people were killed and 12 were injured in a 19-vehicle pileup caused by a dust storm on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by:
Jack a Lope
numbers dont add up. 5 vehicles = 5 drivers 1 vehicle had at least 3 occupants, so that makes 7, 4 people were transported, 1 refused medical attention. that leaves at least two other people, provided none of the other 4 vehicles had passengers