A dump truck ran into a group of eight motorcycles that had stopped for a red light in Phoenix, Arizona, resulting in three of the riders dying, six riders suffering personal injuries, and flaming wreckage being scattered across the intersection.
On March 25, the eight motorcycles, carrying at least nine people, had stopped behind a pickup truck and a small sport utility vehicle at the red light when they were struck from behind by the dump truck, according to Phoenix police spokesman Detective James Holmes. The truck ran over the motorcyclists and then collided with the SUV in front of them.
Some of the bikes burst into flames underneath the truck, while others were scattered behind the truck. Images of the scene displayed on television showed a horrific collection of mangled Harley-Davidson motorcycles and scattered personal belongings, including some of the riders’ boots lying in the road.
The most seriously injured of the survivors was Ernie Lizarraga, a Phoenix Fire Captain who had been with the department for 22 years. Authorities say he was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Frank Solomon said that some of the injured received air transport to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.
Authorities say there was no sign of the 50-year-old truck driver having been impaired. He was uninjured and police questioned him. The occupants of the pickup truck and SUV were also unharmed.
Holmes said the majority of the victims were male, though there was at least one female. The crash occurred around 1 p.m. at the intersection of 27th Avenue and the Carefree Highway.