An unconscious woman lay in the grass near a minivan that had crashed though a fence. A sport utility vehicle sat upside down in an intersection with crushed vehicles surrounding it.
Twenty-one patients required aid as emergency personnel and five helicopters arrived at the four-vehicle collision shortly after 1 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Higley and Elliot roads in Gilbert.
Four Valley hospitals cared for 14 people, including the most seriously injured who were occupants of the minivan and SUV.
The massive crash raised the question of whether redlight cameras could help deter such collisions. Police are investigating whether a red-light runner triggered the crash.
Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Duncan later that night declined to release the conditions, ages and names of anyone involved.
Earlier in the day, Duncan had said at least one woman was critically hurt and several people had serious injuries. Most of the wounded were adults, although children were among the seven people who suffered minor injuries, Duncan said.
The crash shut down traffic for six hours as authorities treated the injured, cut open the minivan to extricate three women and examined the wreckage.
As authorities investigate the crash, they may use intersection traffic cameras to see if the video reveals any details, Duncan said.
The town currently has no red-light cameras — devices that some officials would like to see on the streets to help catch red-light runners.
Councilman Don Skousen, a retired judge, is a proponent of red-light cameras as a preventative measure to speeding and red-light running.
“When people know they have them, they do slow down,” said Skousen, who in past years has brought up the issue before the council.
Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman said it’s important to have safe streets in Gilbert, but remains concerned that drivers could get false citations based on technical as well as human errors.
It is unknown whether redlight cameras would have made a difference in Monday’s collisions. However, Duncan said motorists need to remember the yellow-light rule.
“When you see the yellow light, it’s time to slow down — not speed up,” Duncan said.