Northwest Fire District firefighters work to rescue a driver of a vehicle that is impaled by a guardrail on Interstate 10 just north of Tucson.  

Courtesy Northwest Fire District

A single-vehicle crash impaled the driver on a guardrail on Interstate 10 just north of Tucson, authorities said.

Northwest Fire District firefighters freed the man from his vehicle after 41 minutes, said Capt. Adam Goldberg, a spokesman for the fire district.

It was a delicate rescue operation, said Goldberg, explaining that the man was impaled by the guardrail and pinned in the vehicle.

The man, in his late 30s, was airlifted by medical helicopter to University of Arizona Medical Center. He was in critical condition, Goldberg said.

The crash occurred shortly before 8 p.m. Monday night, and the eastbound lanes were closed.

It was not known if the man was wearing a seatbelt because of the damage to the vehicle, Goldberg said. There were no passengers in the vehicle.

Motorists need to exit at West Orange Grove Road, but can re-enter the interstate using the Orange Grove on-ramp, authorities said.

There are traffic delays in the area of the crash, which is on the interstate between Orange Grove and Ina roads.

I-10 eastbound lanes were expected to re-open about 10 p.m., Goldberg said.