Driver slams into day spa; 1 dead, 4 go hospital

[Updated; as expected/suspected this death and injuries DO NOT appear in official crash records from ADOT, nor will they appear in the FARS when that is released. See this comment for how I checked asdm]

9/27/2013. A story like this, besides being a tragedy, tends to make headlines (even going national, story) but, Seriously, how often does stuff like this happen? Apparently regularly; like the shopper killed inside a Tucson convenience store in July…. or… 11-year old boy dead in a Phoenix parking lot in May… or … 2 Dead in Phoenix after pickup slams into bus stop  in March… or… 1 Dead at a Peoria Walgreens sitting on the bench in front of store in 2010… This is just what i noticed reading the paper; These were all in the recent past, just in Arizona. This is not a complete list! ha.

One person was killed and 11 others injured on Friday (9/27/2013) when a car crashed into a business where a massage therapy class was being taught, authorities said.

The crash occurred at about 10 a.m. at Spa Pima, part of the Pima Medical Institute near Power and Baseline roads in Gilbert.

In an update to the conclusion of the police investigation, a story in the paper 12/2/2013 Gilbert spa crash: Student, 22, switched to fatal spot. The story states the police, as expected, would not be seeking any felony charges like manslaughter, etc. Answers some of the mysteries regarding crash reporting “Because the collision occurred on private property, police would have had to show the driver was under the influence or was speeding to even seek misdemeanor charges, and there was no evidence of either”. So I don’t expect there is or will be an ACR (Arizona Crash Report), i.e. this is not a fatal traffic statistic (for other non-traffic cases see this tag). Note that most traffic infractions generally only “to the operation of vehicles on highways”, but reckless driving (28-693)  applies “on highways and elsewhere” (see 28-621), not just on the road.

People make their choices. The driver chose to drive. The driver chose to drive a 3000+ pound piece of equipment, with a multi-hundred horsepower engine; and made an operational error. Drivers impose risk on others in very direct and very foreseeable ways.

The fatality victim was 22-y.o. Lacey Gruntorad, the driver’s name wasn’t released in the news stories I’ve seen.

How often do drivers ram into buildings?

News story out of Florida “car-in-building accidents cause 10 serious injuries each day across the United States, Reiter said”  founder of “Vehicles crash into restaurants, stores, and other types of businesses 40 to 50 times per day. Often, customers and employees are injured. Sometimes, they are killed.  These accidents typically happen when drivers—of all ages—make mistakes, especially when they are pulling into or out of parking spaces that face storefronts”

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