More than 40 vehicles and 100 people were involved in 10 collisions at sundown on Thursday that shut down a stretch of a major East Valley freeway for almost three hours.
Amazingly, no one was seriously injured, police said.
The trouble began about 6:15 p.m. when 911 calls reported a pileup on westbound U.S. 60, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Tim Mason.
“The first officer (to arrive) saw something that very few highway patrolmen will ever see in their careers,” Mason said. “Twenty-seven vehicles all tangled up.” Within minutes, police received calls about nine more collisions on the freeway between Interstate 10 and Loop 101, he said.
Four people were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Mason said.
Mother Nature was probably the cause of most of the crashes, he said. A mixture of rain and the setting sun caused intense glare for people driving west.
Public safety officials shut the freeway down between I-10 and Loop 101 to investigate and clean up. The freeway was open before 9 p.m., “an impressive feat” for the 35 officers who responded, Mason said.