3 year-old squashed to death in crosswalk

Drivers operating pickups and other so-called “light trucks and vans” account for a disproportionate amount of pedestrian fatalities; but nobody seems to care…

3 year-old Anthony Meade was squashed to death in crosswalk at 20th and Camelback Rd, Phoenix on 12/4/2013 ~ 7:30PM. The driver (whose name apparently has not been released and is referred to only as a 26-year-old) was driving a 2009 Toyota Tundra, a large pickup…

All parties were northbound; the driver making a left from 20th Street onto Camelback, and the peds were crossing Camelback at the intersection.

The news stories say only that the driver will be tested for impairment; in other words the Phoenix PD is hinting the driver was not apparently impaired…. And in any event the driver was found to not be impaired and so was never charged with any felony, according to Phoenix PIO (that was in March of 2014 timefram); who would not reveal the driver’s name for some reason and so can’t check with caselookup to see; the description of the collision should have resulted in a 28-672 charge. So as things turn out, I guess that was correct info, the driver was charged w/672 in Phoenix muni case M-0741-4928453 / Phx citation PCP20159000643, but not until Jan 2015, and he plead guilty in May 2015. Not sure what all the delays are about (though, remember there is a two year statute on 672). The driver plead guilty a dui charge in pinetop/lakeside in 2010 CR-20100521 so maybe he was being more closely scrutinized(?). The driver also has/had three civil traffic beefs listed with Maricopa Justice Courts, one each 2007, 2012, and 2014; outcomes aren’t available there, plus some sort of dismissed (photo) Scottsdale ticket 2012, and a dismissed (photo?) ticket in phoenix muni 2014.

This crash reminded me of another stroller/pedestrian death a few year ago driver-cited-in-death-of-baby-in-stroller in Phoenix on 9/14/2009. The victim was a 7-month old was killed instantly as a driver failed to yield as she exited a private driveway in her SUV. The driver was ticketed.

Crash Report

This is FARS case=40782 and ADOT incident=2818037. Phoenix file number 13002154282 (listed as 201302154282 in the database).There are some discrepancies between the crash report and what is in Adot’s database…

So here’s the list in the format of Crash Form Block / Report value / Asdm value (commentary) — Unit #1 (most at fault) is the pickup and Unit #2 is dead child:

  1. Unit #1 direction / Northwest / North (i do prefer the latter)
  2. Unit #2 Maneuver / Crossing Road / Crossing Road  (sometimes this same action is described as Going Straight Ahead)
  3. Unit #1 Violation / Disregarded Traff Sig / Failure to Yield (the latter is correct)
  4. Unit #1 Maneuver / Going Straight Ahead / Making Left (the latter is correct)
  5. Unit #2 Violation / No Improper / Unknown (The former is correct)

So #1 and #2 are no big deal, just pointing out some consistency issues. However, 3-4-5 have no ready explanation — why were they changed? The image of the crash report have some hand-written notations as late as 7/10/2014. Who changes these, and why?

Also the crash form lists 28-792A and 28-672 as citations. The FARS record doesn’t have anything remarkable: the PBT (preliminary breath test) was apparently negative for alcohol and there was no drug testing listed. The victim, in the stroller, was listed as a PER_TYP of personal conveyance, by the way.

More Generally about Peds and SUVs / Light Trucks

Drivers operating pickups and other so-called “light trucks and vans” which includes SUVs  account for a disproportionately high number of pedestrian fatalities (Lefler 2004, Paulozzi 2005) ; but nobody seems to care. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is charged with traffic safety, the federal gov’t has regulated bumper heights of passenger cars for over 40 years; Light trucks are exempted from, among other things, bumper height regulations and that’s the way the industry likes it because taller vehicles look cool and can drive over things when used off-road; but have an unfortunate tendency to drive over things like pedestrians when used on-road.

Lefler DE, Gabler HC. (2004) The Fatality and Injury Risk of Light Truck Impacts with Pedestrians in the United States. Accid. Anal. Prev., Vol. 36, pp. 295–304.

Paulozzi LJ. (2005) United States Pedestrian Fatality Rates by Vehicle Type. Inj. Prev., Vol. 11, pp. 232–236.

(these studies are linked here under What if your Crash Partner is a Pedestrian? )

2 thoughts on “3 year-old squashed to death in crosswalk”

  1. As a retired person of 69 and a former compeditive cyclist, I hope to join with and work tirelessly for the benefit of the utilitarian cycling community. From arterial design to comprehensive education, there is a mountain of work that needs to be done. I need direction from all members of the cycling community on ideas to accomplish our universal goals.

  2. so I guess if i want a name (to find out if the driver was ever cited, or whatever) I’ll have to call records :-(

    —– Forwarded Message —–
    From: “steve.martos@phoenix.gov”
    To: Ed Beighe
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 1:24 PM
    Subject: Re: Email Question

    That would be correct. I believe he may have been cited already. I’d have to check.

    Steve Martos
    Sent from my iPhone

    On Mar 28, 2014, at 1:21 PM, “Ed Beighe” wrote:

    In case you are wondering — let me tell you why I check: *sometimes* when a driver causes a fatality; after being cleared of serious felony charges, the police forget to levy whatever other, underlying citations and perhaps misdemeanor charges, and a negligent driver gets off scot free.
    This is exactly what happened in the death of Don Anselmo; phoenix police described it as a paperwork snafu, and I do understand that mistakes can happen — but i aim to see this particular type of mistake not happen again. Here is how it was described in our newspaper at the time:
    “Where we made an error, there was a window of a few weeks to issue a civil citation,” Phoenix police Sgt. Joel Tranter said.

    That’s right, an infraction would be just a civil traffic ticket — in the case of serious injury or death resulting enables 28-672. The statute of limitations on 28-672 has since been extended from 1 to 2 years; so there isn’t any time pressure here.

    From: “steve.martos@phoenix.gov”
    To: Ed Beighe
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 12:33 PM
    Subject: RE: Email Question

    A cross walk violation should be a civil violation not criminal (though I may have to re-fresh my memory as I’m not a traffic guy). Due to the nature of this incident they may seek “enhanced” prosecution which would cause it to be criminal. Yet, this charge would still be a misdemeanor.

    As for the release of the driver’s name. Our office does not release names of individuals unless they are in the process of being booked into jail or have been booked. In this case this has not occurred.

    Sergeant Steve Martos
    Phoenix Police Department
    Media Relations
    602.920.3460 cell
    602.256.3270 desk
    “Policing with a Purpose”

    Visit us online! – http://www.phoenix.gov/police
    Follow us on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/phoenixpolice
    Subscribe to us on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/phxpd
    From: Ed Beighe [ebeighe@yahoo.com]
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 12:23 PM
    To: Martos, Steve
    Subject: Re: Email Question

    no problem.

    by not charged i surmise you mean no homicide charges, which i understand.

    According to the media description he( the driver whom you will still did not name) wold have been responsible for a crosswalk violation; which enables 28-672 (a misdemenaor) charge. no?

    From: “steve.martos@phoenix.gov”
    To: “ebeighe@yahoo.com”
    Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 12:12 PM
    Subject: Email Question

    Mr. Beighe,

    I apologize for the delay in responding. Your email went to the wrong place and was ultimately forwarded to me for a response.

    Since we arrived on scene we initially believed impairment was a factor in this fatal collision. We submitted evidence for toxicology results and the results were negative for impairment. No one has been charged in this case and we do not anticipate anything changing unless new information or evidence comes forward.

    Thank you for your follow-up.

    Sergeant Steve Martos
    Phoenix Police Department
    Media Relations
    602.920.3460 cell
    602.256.3270 desk
    “Policing with a Purpose”

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