Arizona DPS employee injured in freeway accident - New York News

Arizona DPS employee injured in freeway accident

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

The Loop 202 was shut down for hours on Friday after a deadly crash involving a Department of Public Safety service truck.

The traffic backup stretched for miles.

Those service trucks stop and help stranded drivers on the side of the freeway.

This morning's crash left a DPS employee seriously hurt and another person dead.

That service truck was parked on the shoulder -- underneath an overpass.  For some reason, a pickup truck driving in one lane lost control and slammed right into the rear of the DPS truck.

"I wanted to get off the freeway," said a concerned driver.  "It was the worst thing in my life."

Daniel Vaughan, who was also stuck in traffic, said "It was bad.. it took about an hour to get through it."

Drivers were forced to exit Gilbert Road.

Investigators are trying to figure out why the pickup truck swerved out of his lane and hit the back of the DPS truck.  It's a big, heavy truck and didn't have too much damage.

"Safe to say the department vehicle did save our employee's life," said DPS Spokesperson Raul Garcia.

The DPS employee was rushed to an area hospital.  He was alert and talking to paramedics.  He's worked for DPS, helping stranded drivers for 11 years.

"People need to slow down on the freeways," said Vaughan.

A passenger in the pickup truck was killed in the crash.  The 35-year-old driver was rushed to a hospital.  Officers say it's possible he was under the influence when he lost control of the vehicle.

DPS says these crashes could be avoided if drivers obeyed the Move Over Law.  That law requires drivers to move over one lane when someone is pulled over on the side of the road.

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