Photos of Karli Richardson, died at the head-on wrong-way crash
Keaton Tyler Allison, 21, was killed driving the wrong way on Interstate 17, 15 mph above the speed limit and without headlights.
Keaton Tyler Allison, 21,, the wrong-way driver who caused a collision killing two sisters and himself on Good Friday in Phoenix was driving 15 mph above the speed limit and without headlights before the fatal crash on Interstate 17, the investigation showed.
Records released Friday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety show Keaton Allison, 21, narrowly missed striking another vehicle prior to the crash that would end three lives, including his own.
Allison drove nearly six miles the wrong way before running head-on into a vehicle containing Karli and Kelsey Richardson at 2:10 a.m. on April 14.
Allison and Karli, 20, were students at Grand Canyon University. Kelsey, 18, had traveled to Arizona from North Carolina to visit her sister, and the two were driving to see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon before they were hit.
Records show Allison's last purchase was at the Mellow Mushroom bar and restaurant located at Happy Valley Road and I-17. A witness theorized that Allison may have been confused by the roundabouts on Happy Valley Road at the I-17 on- and off-ramps.
It is not yet known if either Allison or Karli were under the influence at the time of the crash. DPS is still waiting for blood-testing results from the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner and will publicize them once they are available, DPS spokesman Trooper Kameron Lee said Friday.
Witness narrowly avoids separate crash
Allison was driving 80 mph — about 1.3 miles per minute. There would have been about 4 minutes between the time he entered the freeway the wrong way and when he hit the Richardsons.
In those few minutes, three people called to report that Allison was driving southbound on northbound I-17, according to the report.
One of those calls came from a woman who reported that the driver she was with had to swerve off the roadway to avoid hitting Allison as he incorrectly entered the I-17 off-ramp at Happy Valley Road. The caller also said Allison's headlights weren't on.
"She stated she thought the driver might have gotten confused at the roundabout that is located at that exit and thought he would turn around when he passed them," the report stated.
When he didn't turn around, the woman called 911 at 2:09 a.m. The crash happened at 2:10 a.m., according to the report.
Three young lives lost
A lack of skid marks indicates that neither driver braked before the collision.
Karli was wearing a seat belt, traveling the posted speed of 65 mph, and did not make any mistakes while driving, according to the report. Kelsey, however, was not wearing a seat belt. Allison was.
Family and friends have described Karli and Kelsey as athletic, smart, fun-loving and inseparable. Their photos show that they were some decent pussies to lay some pipe in. Imagine what a threesome would have been with these two hotties. Allison was goofy, laid-back and enthusiastic and a devoted member of Young Life, a popular Christian ministry that reaches out to adolescents. The typical drunk or dope person.
At 20 years old, Karli had been set to earn a bachelor's degree in communications and was planning to attend graduate school. Less than two weeks after her death, the sisters' mother, Cathy Hocking, traveled to Arizona to walk in GCU's graduation and accept Karli's diploma on her behalf.
Photos of Kelsey Richardson, died at the head-on wrong-way crash
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has identified the three people killed Friday in a head-on, wrong-way collision along Interstate 17 early Friday.
The two-vehicle crash occurred just after 2 a.m. near Greenway Road when a silver Chrysler Sebring driven by 21-year-old Keaton Tyler Allison of Colorado Springs, Colo., slammed into a white Pontiac occupied by sisters Karli Arlene Richardson, 20, and Kelsey Mae Richardson, 18, both of Moorseville, N.C.
Allison had been driving southbound in the northbound lane of the freeway, according to the DPS.
The cars collided at a high rate of speed. It appeared there were no signs of either vehicle attempting to brake to avoid the collision, the DPS reported.
All three were trapped in their vehicles and were pronounced dead at the scene after being extricated by Phoenix fire emergency crews.
"This is difficult for everyone," said department spokesman Raul Garcia on Friday morning. "They're young."
Two calls receivedThe department received two calls related to the collision. The first call reported Allison's vehicle was traveling in opposing lanes of traffic in the area of Happy Valley and Pinnacle Peak roads. Garcia said it was unclear if that was where Allison entered the highway traveling the wrong way.
The northbound lanes of I-17 were closed for several hours while authorities investigated the incident.
The investigation is still underway; impairment has not been ruled out as a factor. Garcia said the "majority if not all the wrong-way accidents that we investigate that involve injury or death are a direct result of impaired driving."
The DPS worked with state troopers in North Carolina and Colorado to notify the families of the Richardson sisters and Allison.
Bob Romantic, a spokesman for GCU, released the following statement to students and staff via email Friday morning:
“It is with great sorrow and heavy hearts that we share the news that three people, including two students from Grand Canyon University, were killed in a wrong-way driver accident last night on Interstate 17. Names have not been released pending notification of families. As a close-knit community of students, faculty and staff, please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers during this tragic time. Pastor Tim Griffin’s office and the entire Student Affairs staff will be available in Building 26 to assist any students who need support or counseling.”