N. Valley freeways open again after 2 death investigations
A fatal motorcycle crash and an unrelated suicide forced the closure of southbound Interstate 17 on Tuesday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A fatal motorcycle crash and an unrelated suspected suicide forced the closure of southbound Interstate 17 at the Loop 101 Pima Freeway and closed a ramp leading onto I-17 Tuesday morning.
Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation were able to clear the scenes after about six hours and traffic was flowing again on all roadways at the intersection of I-17 and Loop 101 by 6:30 a.m. just before the morning rush-hour crush.
The bodies of the two victims were found after the northbound motorcyclist hit a wall on the westbound Loop 101 interchange about 12:30 a.m.
The motorcyclist's body stayed on the overpass but the motorcycle fell about 200 feet to Loop 101. A DPS officer said the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, but didn't survive the fall.
No other vehicles were involved.
About 4 a.m., a second body was found. Investigators said they located an empty car that was still running on the eastbound 101 on-ramp to north I-17, and later found the victim laying below in a southbound I-17 HOV lane.
Investigators said they matched the person's identification to the registration of the car and believed it was a suicide unrelated to the motorcycle crash.
Southbound traffic was being diverted from I-17 to Loop 101, according to Tom Herrmann of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The ramp from eastbound Loop 101 to northbound I-17 was closed, Herrmann said. He said there was no estimate when the lanes would re-open.
No other information was immediately available.
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