Woman killed on I-17, shutting down highway in both directions - New York News

Hit-and-run driver arrested after woman killed, good Samaritan injured on I-17

Posted: Updated:
Alberto Lopez-Ruelas Alberto Lopez-Ruelas
  • Arizona HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police: Doctor pointed rifle at two people in Sky Harbor Airport

    Police: Doctor pointed rifle at two people in Sky Harbor Airport

    A Phoenix doctor has been arrested at Sky Harbor Airport. He said he was just there to get a cup of coffee. But he was arrested when he accidentally pointed the rifle at two women. 7/28/14
    A Phoenix doctor has been arrested at Sky Harbor Airport. He said he was just there to get a cup of coffee. But he was arrested when he accidentally pointed the rifle at two women. 7/28/14
  • Armed woman shot by Phoenix officers in Tempe

    Armed woman shot by Phoenix officers in Tempe

    Phoenix Police Department officers opened fire on a woman who they were following when she came at them with a gun.Officers started following the woman near 44th Street Thomas, she was wanted for a felony warrant.
    Phoenix Police Department officers opened fire on a woman who they were following when she came at them with a gun.Officers started following the woman near 44th Street Thomas, she was wanted for a felony warrant.
  • Suns player PJ Tucker arrested and accused of super extreme DUI

    Suns player PJ Tucker arrested and accused of super extreme DUI

    He just signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Phoenix Suns.But now P.J. Tucker is making headlines for an extreme DUI arrest. His arrest in Scottsdale is just coming to light.Scottsdale Police say 29-year-old Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker was stopped on suspicion of DUI in May. A blood sample was taken by an officer, and the test results came back with with a blood alcohol concentration of .222, a level that is considered Super Extreme DUI under Arizona law.In the police report, ...
    He just signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Phoenix Suns.But now P.J. Tucker is making headlines for an extreme DUI arrest. His arrest in Scottsdale is just coming to light.Scottsdale Police say 29-year-old Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker was stopped on suspicion of DUI in May. A blood sample was taken by an officer, and the test results came back with with a blood alcohol concentration of .222, a level that is considered Super Extreme DUI under Arizona law.In the police report, ...
PHOENIX (KSAZ) -

Authorities suspect a woman was driving drunk when she slammed her car into a highway median early Saturday morning, setting off a chain reaction of deadly crashes. 

Law enforcement has also charged a 33-year-old man who allegedly hit a good Samaritan at the scene.

That set off a deadly chain reaction of crashes that left one person dead and three people in the hospital. Two of those who were hurt are facing criminal charges.

Interstate 17 was shut down in both directions Saturday morning for about six hours as Department of Public Safety officials investigated this terrible series of crashes.

Authorities say an impaired driver crashed her car first then she was hit by another car. That impact catapulted her passenger over a median and into oncoming traffic.

But that's not all.

A good Samaritan pulled over to try and help and he ended up getting hit too.

DPS officials believe the woman behind the wheel may have been driving drunk as she was going northbound on I-17 early Saturday morning.

She somehow lost control and crashed into the median.

Then, a red Mercury slammed into the crashed car.

Investigators say the sheer force of that impact ejected the passenger of the white car.

"...catapults her over the wall into the southbound lanes where she is struck numerous times," DPS spokesman Bart Graves said.

The passenger did not make it, but sadly she wasn't the last person hit.

A man who was driving a red sedan saw the whole thing and pulled over to try and help.

"He sees what occurs, he runs across the freeway to render aid, he is struck by a black SUV. [The SUV's driver] leaves the scene," said Graves.

DPS says Alberto Lopez-Ruelas hit the good Samaritan and then fled the scene. He later returned.

"I know it's a very strong urge by very good people to help someone, but you have to understand in this urban freeway, it's pitch dark at night. There's a lot of traffic. Best thing to do is pull to the side of the road, call us we'll be out here in minutes," said Graves.

The good Samaritan and the drivers of the other two cars all had surgery at area hospitals and are all expected to be okay.

Meanwhile, the crashes shut down I-17 at Thunderbird in both directions for hours, backing up traffic, forcing drivers off the freeway on to city streets and leaving some late for work.

"I take the 17 every day. It's usually pretty backed up in the mornings, like usual rush hour traffic. I've never seen it where they closed it completely down," said Julian Feller.

DPS believes the driver who started this chain reaction crash may have been impaired; she's facing manslaughter charges.

Alberto Lopez-Ruelas was arrested and charged with hit-and-run with injury and damage to vehicle and failure to render aid.

DPS believes a second good Samaritan tried to help just moments after the original crash and are asking witnesses to come forward with information.

If you were driving on I-17 around 5:20 a.m. and think you might have seen anything, you're asked to call the Department of Public Safety.

UPDATE: DPS has identified a woman killed in an accident on I-17 in Phoenix the morning of April 5.  They say 18-year-old Chelsea Barker of Maricopa was killed when she was struck by several times by southbound vehicles after being ejected from a northbound car that first struck a median wall and then was struck by another car.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Scenes for "Girls" to be shot as SUNY New Paltz

    Scenes for "Girls" to be shot as SUNY New Paltz

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:13 AM EDT2014-07-29 10:13:09 GMT
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
    Some scenes for the HBO series "Girls" will be shot at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  The series star and creator Lena Dunham will reportedly be directing scenes Tuesday afternoon on the campus 75 miles north of New York City.
  • Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Pregnant woman says officer put her in choke hold

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-07-29 09:57:51 GMT
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
    Back from vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio is addressing the allegations of police choke holds. Standing next to his police commissioner and standing by him, de Blasio declared police community relations will improve by Bill Bratton's call for retraining of officers. The mayor did say that police choke holds are not acceptable.
  • SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    SummerStage: you still have time to catch a show

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:22:53 GMT
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
    You've got a few more weeks to enjoy SummerStage, New York's annual performing arts showcase that's 28 years running. But it's not just music: there is dance, comedy, theater, you name it. There are several shows weekly at 14 different parks throughout the five boroughs. A recent show at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park paid tribute to Pete Seeger. Most of the shows are free and are funded by tickets purchased for the some of the bigger acts.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices