1 Motorist Dead, 1 Bicyclist Dead

[Final update 3/17/2015: The defendant was found incompetent to stand trial and all charges were dismissed CR2013003301. A statement on the defendant’s lawyer’s website relates some more details: “Marie Blandford, who accidentally took Ambien (zolpidem) and blacked out while driving…” “Blandford, a widow and mother of three children, has suffered from progressive dementia and Alzheimer’s and is incapable of assisting her counsel at trial” She now “resides in a 24-hour care facility and has significant memory deficits” ]

[Update 4/5/2013: Authorities have released the victims’ names, they were Clare Louis Kirby, 46, of Mesa (bicyclist) and  William Phillips, 72 (motorist). The sheriff’s office spokesman said a homicide investigation is underway; and that criminal charges will be filed and that other charges will depend on the results of the investigation. The suspect was also identified as 73-year-old Marie Blandford of Payson. Victims in 2 fatal crashes ID’d; charges likely for injured driver ]

A hit-and-run driver in a green SUV killed an as-yet unidentified female cyclist on the Bush Highway near Usery Pass Rd 4/3/2013 around 9am. in the Tonto National Forest. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Witnesses who followed the green SUV saw that vehicle, then get into a separate collision several miles away at Ellsworth and McKellips where the driver of the green SUV T-boned another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle died a short time later; The driver of the green SUV was injured; police identify her only as a 73-year old female.

Driver suspected in fatal hit-run gets in 2nd fatal crash in Mesa

Google maps view of the two locations; pin A is the bicyclist fatality, and B is the motorist fatality. They are 6.7 miles apart; a driving time of some 9 minutes according to google maps. A more exact location of the bicyclist crash wasn’t give, it appears from the news-copter footage that it was Bush Highway somewhere west of the intersection with Usery Pass (Usery Pass Road is also called Ellsworth Road in Mesa; the 2nd collision was at the intersection of Ellsworth and McKellips). This area is a designated bike lane, and appears to be in good shape.

This is FARS case=40216 ; the driver is positive for zolpidem (Ambien).

5 thoughts on “1 Motorist Dead, 1 Bicyclist Dead”

  1. My sister doing what she enjoyed !! Then somebody comes along and turns the lights off xxxx
    I believe this driver needs to be reminded each day
    4children
    1loving husband
    Loving parents
    7 brothers and sisters who can’t get to USA ( UK citizens )
    13 nephews nd nieces
    Lots nd lots of loving friends !
    What more can I say
    Another star to watch in the night sky

  2. so so sad! My heart breaks. I am a walker of 4 miles per day. we all respect each other, even the cyclist, wave or knod their head to me, to say hello. We all know we are doing our bodies good by exercising. then motorist dont’ watch us. I have been almost hit, 3 times in the past 2 weeks alone. People don’t look right. I was hit at lazona and Broadway when I was 13, the guy was making a right turn and didn’t look. I had the right of way. Geez. I am deeply saddened for this loss. may God have repose on her soul. May the family live in peace. xo

  3. Certainly Ms. Marie Blanford is a poor example of a driver. Her right to drive should be with held and I pray for the families who lost their loved ones. Could she have been drinking?

  4. Why is there no follow up re: charges against Marie Blandford?

    hi Andrea — i know it’s frustrating, but these sorts of investigations do take a significant amount of time; perhaps as little as a couple of weeks, to as much as several months. So it is altogether expected that there is no decision yet.

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