A Rio Rico man was killed in a car crash early Sunday near the Palo Parado exit on Interstate 19, authorities said.

The victim, 58-year-old Tomas Lopez, was traveling in a 2010 Ford Ranger when it was involved in a three-vehicle crash on the northbound side of the interstate near Kilometer 25 at approximately at 5:30 a.m., the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

The other people involved in the crash, a 22-year-old Nogales man driving a 2006 White Dodge Caravan, and a 27-year-old Amado man and 19-year-old Sahuarita woman traveling in a 2015 Chevrolet Cruze, were not injured, DPS said. All were wearing seatbelts.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation, DPS said.

The Arizona Department of Transportation sent out an early morning alert on Sunday saying that northbound I-19 was closed due to the crash, and suggested that Tucson-bound motorists take State Routes 82 and 83 to Interstate 10 instead. Shortly before noon, ADOT announced that the interstate had re-opened.

It was at least the third fatal crash on Interstate 19 in Santa Cruz County so far in 2019.

On May 4, a 63-year-old Nogales woman was killed when the 2005 Kia Spectra she was traveling in went off the roadway and into the median north of Kilometer 12 and rolled. The woman, the vehicle’s front-seat passenger, was not wearing a seatbelt. A 15-year-old male passenger in the rear seat, who was also not wearing a seatbelt, was badly injured after being ejected from the car.

On Feb. 5, a 30-year-old Nogales man was killed after being ejected from his SUV during a rollover on southbound I-19 at Kilometer 27. He was not wearing a seatbelt, DPS said at the time.

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