Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials said two people were confirmed dead, and five others were flown by helicopter to local hospitals for their injuries after two vehicles collided near milepost 98 Friday afternoon.
The westbound lanes of I-8 were closed to allow rescue helicopters to land, DPS said. The westbound lanes were closed until early Saturday morning to allow for accident investigation and crash cleanup.
DPS said two vehicles collided when one of them crossed over into oncoming traffic on I-8, the major highway that connects Phoenix to Yuma and San Diego.
The collision happened about 20 miles west of Gila Bend.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), 8% of all fatalities on divided highways are due to head on crashes. Per the USDOT, installing median barriers on rural four-lane highways like I-8 can reduce cross-median crashes by 97%.
Many stretches of Arizona interstates lack median barriers to prevent cross-median crashes like the one that happened last Friday. Cross-median crashes occur with astonishing frequency on I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix, as well as other parts of the state.
We know this because we have represented several clients whose loved ones died in cross-median crashes on I-10. We have done extensive research and have reviewed hundreds of accidents reports going back years.
Instead of installing median barriers on our highways, ADOT installed warning signs that say “No Median Barriers” across the state.
Warning signs do not prevent fatal crashes.
Installing median barriers on rural four lanes highways can reduce cross-median crashes by 97%. Our deepest condolences go to the families of those that lost their lives in another cross-median crash on an Arizona highway.
Please, drive carefully.