Some loose cows led to a freak accident on I-17 Wednesday morning that took a woman's life.
Northbound Interstate 17 north of Phoenix has been fully reopened following an hours-long closure after a fatal accident involving cattle on the highway that is the main travel route between Phoenix and Flagstaff.
The Arizona Department of Transportation says the accident occurred about 3:30 a.m. near Black Canyon City and backed up traffic for miles.
Department of Public Safety says a couple of cows wandered onto the freeway. A pickup truck of three women swerved and hit one of the cows.
The driver reportedly got out of the truck to look around when a tanker truck stopped nearby and told her to get back into the car.
At that point, DPS says a semi truck traveling on the road was unable to stop, and the woman was hit.
She was pronounced dead at the scene and later identified as 71-year-old Annie Skeet of New Mexico.
The two cows died. The owner doesn't know how they escaped their pen and got to I-17, and is cooperating with police.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves says two passengers inside the pickup were hurt, one with life-threatening injuries.
Charges are not expected in the crash.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.