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SR-347 wrong-way crash: Maricopa mother killed in crash

Posted at 9:53 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 10:12:04-04

Two people are dead and six others sustained injuries following a wrong-way crash involving multiple vehicles on southbound State Route 347 near Riggs Road Monday night. 

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, 70-year-old Karen Ankiewcz from Sun City West was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes around 8:30 p.m. before hitting a vehicle head-on near Riggs Road.

Ankiewicz was pronounced dead at the scene. 

DPS said the driver of the vehicle that was traveling in the correct direction also died from her injuries. Family identified the victim as 26-year-old Julissa Torres of Maricopa. A 26-year-old man and two young were also in the vehicle. The man and a four-year-old child were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A one-year-old was treated for injuries on the scene. 

A third vehicle was also involved in a secondary crash after the head-on crash. The driver, a 57-year-old man and a 13-year-old passenger were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A 15-year-old was also in the vehicle and was treated on the scene. 

The wrong-way driver was traveling alone in vehicle. It is unknown if impairment played a role in the crash. 

The southbound lanes of SR-347 were closed at Riggs Road for about seven hours but have since reopened. 

Monday’s crash is the 12th media-reported wrong-way incident in the Phoenix metro area in 2018. 

This crash was the first wrong-way incident in May. In April, there were two wrong-way incidents in the East Valley. 

On April 1, a driver was arrested for driving the wrong way on the Loop 202 and Kyrene Road. 

On April 18, a wrong-way driver was arrested near the Loop 202 and 44th Street.