Jan 23, 2014 8:59 PM by

Man detained in fiery I-17 crash

PHOENIX - Arizona Department of Public Safety investigators have detained a suspect in connection with the fiery freeway crash that killed one person on Monday afternoon and left a semi truck engulfed in flames on Interstate 17 near Thomas Road.

Investigators with the DPS vehicular crimes unit were interviewing Joseph Ryan O'Connor, 27, on Thursday and he was expected to be booked on a series of charges related to the wreck, including negligent homicide, according to a DPS spokesman.

O'Connor was escorted out of a DPS building in handcuffs shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday flanked by officers before being transported to the Fourth Avenue Jail.

A man was killed and two people were hospitalized Monday after a flatbed truck dropped several canisters of freon gas.

Capt. Tony Mure, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman, said the truck dropped part of its load, causing a motorcyclist to swerve in front of a semi truck before striking it. The semi-truck then struck a mini van carrying two adults and four children, ages 3 to 13, Mure said.

In the chaotic sequence, a gas canister also struck the semi truck, which became engulfed in flames.

The motorcyclist, a man in his 30s, was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, said Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Carrick Cook.

The adults in the minivan were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The children and the driver of the semitruck were not harmed.

Video taken by a news helicopter showed that the flames were extinguished before 3:45 p.m. but that the semi truck had been scorched.

The driver of the truck that dropped the canisters was not at the scene when police arrived.


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