Sun City woman killed in wrong-way crash south of Phoenix

Police lights
Joseph Knight [Submitted photo]

Chris Caraveo
Independent Newsmedia

A 70-year-old woman from Sun City is dead after driving the wrong way and colliding with a vehicle south of Phoenix, killing a mother of two, according to state highway officials.

Several others were injured.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Karen Ankiewicz was driving north in the southbound lanes of State Route 347 near Riggs Road when her Hyundai sedan collided with a Chrysler 300 around 8:20 p.m. Monday.

DPS said the wreck killed Ms. Ankiewicz, of Sun City, and the driver of the Chrysler, 26-year-old Julissa Torres of Maricopa.

According to DPS, Ms. Ankiewicz’s Hyundai sedan collided with Ms. Torres’ Chrysler 300. Afterwards, a Pontiac sedan struck the Chrysler, a release stated.

In a GoFundMe account for Ms. Torres, her fiance Lavale Moss and her daughters Journee Lynn, 4, and Laila, 1 were also in the vehicle. Mr. Moss and Journee Lynn were taken to the hospital while Laila was treated and released at the scene.

According to DPS, a 57-year-old man and 13-year-old child in the Pontiac were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries. A 15-year-old passenger in the Pontiac was treated and released.

The crash caused the freeway to close until 4 a.m. Tuesday.

DPS is investigating whether impairment or a medical issue may have contributed to the incident.

As of Wednesday, a GoFundMe account for Ms. Torres had raised more than $7,000. Donate at

Editor’s note: Records indicate that Ms. Ankiewicz lived not in Sun City West, as DPS states, but in Sun City.

Independent Newsmedia talked with neighbors of the Ankiewicz couple. Read the Daily News-Sun May 16 edition. Subscribe at

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