A 59-year-old woman was killed in a crash on Tuesday when the SUV she was driving smashed into an overpass support pillar on Interstate 19 south of Tucson.

The one-vehicle crash happened around noon when the SUV went off of the roadway, crashing into a concrete pillar at the overpass of the Duval Mine Road exit in Sahuarita.

The driver, the sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the crash scene. It’s not known what caused the driver to leave the highway and hit the pillar.

The driver crashed into a pillar that was not protected by any crash cushion. In some cases, sand-filled barrels can be installed in geometric patterns in front of a hazard (such as a concrete pillar) to protect drivers from a direct crash or to otherwise hit into the obstacle.

These barrels are often bright yellow and can be seen along I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix. Sand barrels or other types of crash cushions can save lives in many cases. Sadly, the driver involved in this accident was not protected by a crash cushion and crashed directly into the pillar.

A second crash occurred on I-19 yesterday involving an Arizona State Trooper with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). The accident involved two vehicles and closed northbound Interstate 19 at the Ajo Way off-ramp for a time.

According to a DPS information release, the State Trooper was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle when it was hit from behind by another car.

The driver of the vehicle that hit the trooper was arrested and faces possible DUI charges.

The trooper was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

Highway accidents can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries due to the high speeds involved. Arizona’s highways can be hazardous due to the lack of median barriers and the lack of crash cushions on some roadways.

Additionally, many of our interstate highways are only two lanes, including I-19 and several parts of I-10 between Tucson and Phoenix.

Please exercise caution when driving on Arizona’s highways. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the Leader Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We have successfully handled numerous roadway cases in Arizona, and we have the expertise you need.

KOLD-TV interviews John Leader about the I-19 fatality: bit.ly/2BoO6dN