Girl hit and killed when driver runs red light

July 12, 2014 / victim crossing in marked crosswalk w/traffic signal. The 5 y.o. female victim was riding a tricycle; this I would guess should be coded as a pedestrian (though i cross-tagged this article as both a ped and cyclist fatality). This is listed on 2014 cyclist traffic  fatalities.  [update: is coded as a pedalcyclist in both ASDM and FARS]

Notes: this was a mid-block crossing. No indication of any impairment; apparently gross distraction (driver should have seen not only the red signal, but an entire family moving through the crosswalk. Absent any other criminal findings, it would appear the driver should be charged with 28-672 Causing serious physical injury or death by a moving violation, a misdemeanor, due to either the red-light-running, or the running down of a ped in a crosswalk.

Is this a “Hawk”-type signal? Would that make any difference? (answer: no, it’s not a hawk, it’s a plain-old signal, see google street view)

MESA, Ariz. — A five-year-old girl was hit and killed when a woman driving a pickup truck ran a red light, according to police.
It happened just after 8 p.m. Saturday on Main Street near Gilbert Road.
Marlene Mendoza was riding a tricycle and was with her family on a canal path when they were crossing Main Street in a crosswalk with a traffic light.
“A family, mom, dad and it sounds like three children were crossing the street going northbound when a truck, a full size pickup truck that was going westbound on Main Street came through the red light and actually struck one of the children,” said Det. Steve Berry with the Mesa Police Dept.
The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.
Det. Berry said the driver of the truck, 43-year-old Maria De Los Angeles Castro Balderas, stopped immediately and was not impaired. He said it appears she did not see the red light at a mid-block crossing and hit Mendoza.
Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, Det. Berry said.
Main Street was closed in both directions from Gilbert Road to Lindsey Road for most of the night.
“We had an officer who was at the intersection of Gilbert and Main at the time that the accident kicked out so we had someone here immediately obviously trying to render aid, obviously Mesa Fire medical responded but unfortunately due to the nature of the injuries they were not able to revive the child,” explained Det. Berry.
No other family members were injured.
“Everyone was together. It seems that maybe the little one was just steps ahead of the rest of the family and unfortunately she was the one who was struck as that vehicle proceeded through the intersection,” Det. Berry said



This is adot incident=2860336. It seems to be completely consistent with the news reports. The motorist was faulted for DISREGARDING TRAFFIC SIGNAL.


FARS 40356. Strangely, this is coded up seemingly quite differently than asdm, e.g. the crash type is Other / Unusual Circumstances; Play Vehicle-Related. Play vehicle I imagine refers to the device being a child’s tricycle, but I don’t see what is unusual about it; it would be the same as  any other mid-block type crossing.

One thought on “Girl hit and killed when driver runs red light”

  1. At the very least, for the safety of other road users, the driver should lose her license until she can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the licensing agency that she is once again able to operate a motor vehicle safely. Otherwise what is the purpose of licensing?

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