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Driver distraction suspected as factor in Arizona I-10 chain reaction crash that killed five

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The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) says that driver distraction is being investigated as the cause of a multi-vehicle crash that killed several people on I-10 in Chandler, Arizona, on Thursday.

The crash occurred around 6:15 a.m. on January 12 in the eastbound lanes of I-10 near the Chandler Boulevard off-ramp.

AZDPS describes the events leading to the crash:

State troopers determined a man was driving a commercial truck-tractor hauling an open-top box trailer loaded with garbage. The commercial driver failed to stop for congested traffic, rear-ended two passenger vehicles, and wedged them into the back of a second commercial truck. The second commercial truck was thrust forward and struck two additional cars. 

The two passenger vehicles crushed between the semi-trucks ignited and burst into flames. The fire spread to the at-fault commercial truck tractor and trailer, and to the second commercial truck‚Äôs box trailer. 

Authorities confirmed that five people inside the two passenger vehicles died in the crash.

The “at-fault” truck driver sustained minor injuries, AZDPS confirmed.

Officials are investigating driver distraction as a cause of the crash.

 Capt. Keith Gephart with DPS told 12News, “That driver may not have been paying attention. Again, we’re still investigating, but it did not appear to have slowed down very much, if at all.”

Two other crashes were reported in the area on Thursday morning.

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