[UPDATE; criminal case driver sentenced to 6.5 years prison, see below]
[There have been a couple recent items of interest documented at ourhtn.com, on Nov 29 there was a MV crash at intersection, and on Dec 1 a mobile speed trailer was set up]
Both cyclist and motorist were westbound Pecos approaching 17th Ave 11/12/2014 ~ 0900. NOTE the google maps has both new and old views of the striping — be sure you are seeing the current version of the stripes, see pic below.
Damage pictured indicated the driver struck the cyclist with the left – center portion of the front of car. More details are at ourhtn.com; and reports the cyclist to be Dwayne Falkner, age 60 of Tempe “Mr Falkner is known in the cycling world as ‘Highly’ Falker… For at least a decade, Mr Falkner competed in cycling competitions. USA Cycling lists Mr Falkner’s participation in 15 competitions between 2004 and 2013”.
I should mention this road is very popular with recreational and training/competitive cyclists drawing folks from all around the area.
afn reported: A 59-year-old man was riding his bicycle westbound down Pecos Road around 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday (11/12/2014). He was attempting to cross a right-turn only lane approaching 17th Avenue to continue westbound when he was struck from behind by a vehicle…Police are researching speed and impairment as possible contributing factor…
There have been some recent (how recent?) restriping at the intersection. The fat black line in the picture used to be the shoulder stripe. Google satellite view shows what looks like matched the present; but the street view, most recently dated 2011, showed there was no turn lane at that time.
So the current striping has the right through lane on Pecos dropping ~ 600 feet from the intersection with 17th Ave (thus the black line in the photo), through traffic in the right lane must merge into the left lane, or alternately traffic turning right must bear to the right to enter the newly formed right-turn-only lane. There is what appears to be a brief bike lane (I mean, i’m not sure it’s designated) between the left/through lane and the newly created RTO lane.
Pecos Road in Phoenix
It appears (preliminary) the crash was in the “mixing zone”. I have to wonder if this new (sometime after 2011) striping regime was ever a good idea. This road functions as a high speed / low volume highway, particularly out this far west (the road dead-ends ~ 1 mile west of here). It directly connects to the east with a (full blown, limited access) highway; by directly i mean there is no interchange, or ramps, it just suddenly becomes limited-access east of 40th St.
This pic shows signage at the Scene of the Crash. There is an R4-4 sign “Begin Right Turn Lane Yield to Bikes”. Also this photo shows there were no evident skid marks.
There have been numerous traffic fatalities over the years along Pecos Road (in Phoenix. It’s a stretch of about 7 miles), including one other cyclist back in 2004, and numerous motorist fatalities and of course numerous serious injuries; including this serious ped injury due to a driver’s gross distraction just a few months ago.
The driver, Diego Ivan Venegas DOB 3/1990 was arrested/booked 2014-12-24 on suspicion of manslaughter, and then indicted: criminal case CR2014-160593 (direct link to Case minutes ) . See also clippedin.bike story
The driver took a plea deal in January 2016, plead guilty to reduced charge of Neg Hom, and was sentenced to 6.5 years prison. The neg hom was sentenced pursuant to 28-704 (meaning his plea deal had it as “dangerous”). Presumptive Class 4 first-time felony being 6 years, not sure where the extra .5 years came from? State’s attorney was Tiffany Leigh Brady.
Crash History near/at that Intersection
It’s been claimed this intersection generally has “a lot” of crashes. I don’t know how to evaluate that claim but I did look at reported crashes; there have been 23 crashes of all types at or near this intersection over the 5-year period 2009-2013. Two involved a bicyclists; one from 2009 was an oddball one (discussed here) where a cyclist crashed into a stopped (police!) car; the other involved a classic motorist overtaking/sideswipe in 2013 causing incapacitating injuries to two bicyclists that was, incidentally, eastbound). Neither involved the intersection. There were no MV-ped crashes.
There were two motorist (both were motorcyclists) fatalities; the first 10/27/2012 a single vehicle motorcyclist road departure (and was not intersection related); and the second a motorist turning left from 17th failed to yield to a westbound motorcyclist, killing him. It was this second one that occurred in April 2013 that apparently directly led to the new striping plan, which was installed (i’m thinking i heard something like) June 2013. I was totally unaware of this new striping; I don’t travel on Pecos much (it’s too far west of me) so I wouldn’t have seen it, and I hadn’t otherwise heard anything about it. [update on the 2013 fatality, in 2017 the city settled with the family of the deceased motorcyclist for $6Million, see comment below]
SELECT IncidentID,IncidentYear, TotalNonMotorists,eJunctionRelation,OnRoad,CrossingFeature from 2009_incident WHERE (OnRoad LIKE 'PECOS%' AND CrossingFeature LIKE '17th%') OR (CrossingFeature LIKE 'PECOS%' AND OnRoad LIKE '17th%') ;
History of bicyclist traffic fatalities in Ahwatukee
Ahwatukee is relatively isolated section of the city of Phoenix; population ~ 75,000. Earlier large scale development was mostly Presley developed retirement communities dating back to the 1970s.
Most of what is now Ahwatukee was “built-out” between the mid to late ’80’s to the mid ’90’s)
Bicyclist fatalities are relatively rare and idiosyncratic. In any event, in the (somewhat short) history of Ahwatukee, there have been three known bicyclist traffic fatalities — back to at least the mid-1980’s (before that is hard to research). The previous two were:
In 2001 a 9-year-old boy failed to yield at a stop sign at Liberty Lane at 17th Street .
In 2004 Don Anselmo was killed by a driver who apparently and inexplicably drifted onto the (very wide) shoulder of Pecos Rd near 20th Street.
There is one more related bicyclist death, in 2008 a cyclist rode into a parked utility truck; This is not “counted” as a traffic fatality simply as a definitional matter; traffic crashes to be counted as such must involve at least one “motor vehicle in transport”.