A fatal motorcycle crash and an unrelated suicide forced the closure of southbound Interstate 17 on Tuesday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A fatal motorcycle crash and an unrelated suspected suicide forced the closure of southbound Interstate 17 at the Loop 101 Pima Freeway and closed a ramp leading onto I-17 Tuesday morning.
Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation were able to clear the scenes after about six hours and traffic was flowing again on all roadways at the intersection of I-17 and Loop 101 by 6:30 a.m. just before the morning rush-hour crush.
The bodies of the two victims were found after the northbound motorcyclist hit a wall on the westbound Loop 101 interchange about 12:30 a.m.
The motorcyclist's body stayed on the overpass but the motorcycle fell about 200 feet to Loop 101. A DPS officer said the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, but didn't survive the fall.
No other vehicles were involved.
About 4 a.m., a second body was found. Investigators said they located an empty car that was still running on the eastbound 101 on-ramp to north I-17, and later found the victim laying below in a southbound I-17 HOV lane.
Investigators said they matched the person's identification to the registration of the car and believed it was a suicide unrelated to the motorcycle crash.
Southbound traffic was being diverted from I-17 to Loop 101, according to Tom Herrmann of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The ramp from eastbound Loop 101 to northbound I-17 was closed, Herrmann said. He said there was no estimate when the lanes would re-open.
No other information was immediately available.
[Text BREAKING to 23765 to get news alerts on your mobile phone]
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, August 29 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:08:37 GMT
Helt's booking photo from tonight
The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards has a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon. More >
Jesse Helt, the Oregon man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards, had a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon. He posted bail after turning himself in to the Polk County Jail. More >
Friday, August 29 2014 8:47 PM EDT2014-08-30 00:47:01 GMT
If someone needed something, Nicole Laube would drop anything to help. "Many times in the middle of the night, if somebody needed something, she was there for them, said her husband, Chris Laube. More >
Chris Laube, the husband of Nicole Laube, says he holds on to the many memories he built with his wife as he struggles to cope her with her murder. More >
Friday, August 29 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:22:53 GMT
An inmate at the state prison in Pendleton has been shot and killed by a guard while fighting in the yard. Umatilla County District Attorney Dan Primus says 26-year-old Jayson Matthew Withers of SalemMore >
An inmate at the state prison in Pendleton has been shot and killed by a guard while fighting in the yard.More >
Friday, August 29 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:27:40 GMT
For the third time this summer, Yellowstone National Park rangers have cited a tourist for illegally flying a drone in the park. Park officials said Friday that Donald Criswell of Molalla, flew an unmannedMore >
For the third time this summer, Yellowstone National Park rangers have cited a tourist for illegally flying a drone in the park.More >