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I-17 crashes north of Tempe send 11 to the hospital

If you drive due north from Tempe on I-17, you will come to the area on the highway that was recently clogged with pedestrians. Yes, it is rare for pedestrians to stroll around on an interstate highway -- and it would normally be very dangerous -- but on this occasion cars and trucks were at a standstill for hours.

Drivers and passengers got out to stretch their legs, take walks and enjoy what they could of a frustrating five hours while workers cleared the highway after two interstate highway accidents sent 11 people to a nearby hospital with injuries. Officials said the injuries were not life-threatening.

The first crash was shortly before 6 p.m. near Black Canyon City. That was when a motorcyclist was thrown from his bike after losing control. Drivers stopped to help the motorcyclist, and traffic began to back up.

A couple of minutes later, a tractor-trailer ran into the rear end of a tour bus. The bus then hit the back of a pick-up. Interstate 17 traffic on the way south to Phoenix was then completely stopped.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reported that the traffic jam extended for 7 miles at its worst, keeping some motorists stuck on the interstate for nearly 5 hours.

People began exiting the vehicles at some point. Children were running around, people took their dogs for walks and chatted with their similarly stranded neighbors.

"People parked their cars on the shoulder and created a party atmosphere in between," said one man who was stuck on the highway, as were with his wife and daughters.

We don't know the extent of the injuries suffered in the crashes, though officials did make clear that the injuries are not life-threatening.

Many of those who are in an accident with an 18-wheeler will be confronted with injuries requiring time away from work, surgeries, physical rehabilitation and more. The process of pursuing compensation for damages begins with a conversation with a Tempe attorney devoted to personal injury litigation.

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