Final Update to Double Fatality Accident on I-40 in Flagstaff

March 30th, 2016 at 6:13 AM

UPDATE 4:00 P.M. Traffic along Interstate 40 east bound near Butler Ave is still slow at this time due to wreckage cleanup. At least five separate vehicle accidents occurred on the snow packed freeways around Flagstaff early on Wednesday, March 30th.  Around 5:45 a.m. the Flagstaff Fire Department dispatched an engine, a quint (ladder truck), and one battalion chief to the area of mile marker 197, I-40 eastbound for a report of a semi-trailer roll over.

First arriving crews found a tractor trailer rig that had sustained heavy damage in the median of the freeway, with the trailer precariously leaning on the cab with half of its wheels in the air over a rock-banked drainage.  Initial reports stated there was one subject trapped.

3-30-16 semi 1
Click for larger view. Courtesy of Flagstaff Fire Dept.

Fire crews began rescue efforts, finding the driver unresponsive.  A second passenger was found in the rear sleeping compartment of the cab; both subjects had sustained severe traumatic injuries, showing no signs of life.  Two heavy haul wreckers from Continental Heavy Haul were utilized to turn the cab upright where crews could safely access the subjects.  Fire department paramedics, a battalion chief and advanced life support crew from Guardian Medical Transport assessed the subjects, confirmed they were deceased, and turned the scene over to the Department of Public Safety. The semi was not carrying any hazardous materials at the time.

The FFD would like to thank DPS, who provided a unified incident command with the FFD and freeway safety, as well as GMT for providing assistance with patient assessment.  There were no injuries to fire fighters or other emergency service personnel throughout the extended duration of this incident.

Springtime weather is very unpredictable in the Flagstaff area, and driving conditions can change at a moment’s notice.  The FFD would like to remind everyone that when driving in winter weather conditions, be very aware of your vehicle’s speed and ability to drive safely in inclement weather.

UPDATE 9:50 A.M.: Arizona State Troopers (DPS) have confirmed two people were killed in an early morning accident involving a semi truck on Interstate 40 this morning. The accident happened around 6 am near the Butler Ave exit in Flagstaff. The trucks driver and passenger were killed. Interstate 40 is partially blocked east bound between Butler and Country Club at this time.

UPDATE: This has been confirmed a double fatality by DPS

Flagstaff Fire, Guardian and DPS are on scene of a semi-rollover on I-40 at mile post 197. FFD is reporting that two patients are trapped and being extricated. Updates will be posted.



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