A fiery wreck on Interstate 17 Monday resulted in the death of a motorcyclist, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said, and both the motorcyclist and a driver who hit him have connections to the quad-city area.
Steven Mathew Daniels, 27, was killed when a flatbed truck carrying gas cylinders lost part of its load right in front of Daniels near Thomas Road and I-17 at about 3 p.m.
Daniels had a driver's license with a Sun City address, but DPS Officer Carrick Cook said Tuesday his motorcycle was registered to an address in Prescott Valley.
Daniels changed lanes to avoid the cylinders that fell off the truck, moving behind an SUV, but the SUV slowed down to miss the cylinders and Daniels ran into it. He was then hit by a semi tractor-trailer hauling gravel, driven by Charles Ashe of Chino Valley. Daniels was killed.
Ashe lost control, crashed, and the truck burst into flames, and two women in the SUV sustained minor injuries in the crash, Cook said, but Ashe was not hurt. Cook added no charges would be filed against Ashe.
Cook said the DPS is investigating the crash as a homicide, with the driver of the flatbed truck the suspect.
"We're looking at the negligence of the driver to secure his load," Cook said. "(That) caused the death of somebody, and that's negligent homicide."
Asked if the driver had been located, Cook said, "He is not in custody."