Traffic Accident Closes Part of I-40 Yesterday
At approx. 8:15 am yesterday the Summit Fire dept. responded to MP 223 eastbound on I-40 for a report of a SUV vs. a Fed-Ex Semi Tractor-Trailer. The Fed-Ex Semi-Truck was a “doubles” trailer. There was one driver in the Fed-Ex Semi and there were three occupants in the Ford Explorer SUV. The accident closed eastbound I-40 for over 1-hour.
Witness reports stated the SUV was traveling westbound at highway speeds when it left the roadway, crossed the median and struck the semi truck between the two trailers. The semi was traveling eastbound at the time of the collision. The impact of the SUV striking the rear trailer was so great that it broke the trailer away from the rest of the semi causing the rear semi-trailer to rollover. The SUV came to rest in the eastbound lanes of I-40.
The 19 year-old Male restrained driver of the SUV suffered life threatening injuries including multiple fractures to legs and arms, a fractured pelvis, chest trauma, and multiple severe facial fractures. The driver was airlifted by Guardian Air to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition. Summit firefighters spent over 30 minutes extricating the driver from the wreckage using the Jaws of Life.
A 20 year-old male restrained front seat passenger was assisted out of the wreckage by bystanders. The 20 year-old passenger suffered arm fractures and a head injury, he was airlifted to FMC by DPS Flagstaff Ranger. The passengers injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
An 18 year-old restrained rear seat female passenger was able to exit the wreckage under her own power. The female rear seat passenger suffered a fractured leg and facial trauma. She was transported to FMC by Guardian Ambulance. The rear seat female passenger is expected to survive.
The driver of the Fed-Ex semi-truck was not injured.
DPS is investigating the collision