So it’s been a bad week for Phoenix/Valley motorists; 5 dead in two head-on freeway collisions. Plus a bunch of serious injuries. Though presumably just a statistical coincidence to have two such fiery crashes in such a short amount of time, it certainly can serve as a reminder of the general dangerousness of traffic.
In the 1st incident on 5/12/2014 shortly after midnight off duty Mesa Police officer Brandon Mendoza; and wrong-way highly intoxicated Raul Silva Corona both died after colliding head-on. [Officer Mendoza’s case was mentioned in Families of slain Arizona officers wait for federal benefit, noting that a $340,000 federal benefit to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty isn’t available under federal benefit rules. Federal rules do not include driving to or from work to be “line of duty”]
In the 2nd incident 5/16/2014 on I-17, dead are; Evan Christian Hendriadi, 50; Jenny Sudjono, 70; and Lioe Kim Tjhiuw, 78. That crash left three others with serious injury (4 counting the wrong-way driver, a man in his 60’s who is suspected of being impaired. [minor UPDATE: police/DPS still haven’t named the driver. I was told on 8/1/2014 this is still the case because the suspect is still in the hospital, and has so far not been charged]
Other Random Motoring Mayhem
Brittany Nolan was charged with 2nd degree murder in connection with running her boyfriend over while he walked in a bike lane on Jan 25, 2014, and then fleeing the scene. The victim, Jacob Rice, was found the next morning dead.
Seriously injured by out-of-control driver while walking on the sidewalk — Seriously how often does this happen?
kpho reports: An Arizona State University graduate and his mother were hit by a suspected drunken driver in Tempe … Wednesday 5/14/2014… The Tempe Police Department said the investigation revealed Andrew Merriman, 22, of New River was driving a 2009 Ford Mustang and had just left El Hefe Bar on Mill Avenue when he lost control of the vehicle on Fifth Street … He then struck a mother and son walking on the sidewalk. Denise Durocher was in town from Idaho to see her son, 30-year-old Anthony Pelot, earn his master’s degree when police said Merriman barreled into them on the sidewalk”
Pelot was injured, and Durocher was seriously injured; Tempe spokesman Sgt. Pooley described as “life changing” injuries. On the sidewalk? Seriously, how often does this happen?
Merriman’s case CR2014123113 was dismissed w/o prejudice (can be re-filed) in June. I don’t know / can’t tell why; as of October 2014 it appears to have not yet been re-filed.