This past Wednesday (6/28/2017) afternoon, another wrong way fatal crash and another driver is locked up. “Fixing” wrong way driving can most obviously be effected by removing impaired drivers from the road. Proposed, costly, technological gadgets to detect wrong-way can have only limited usefulness. Abc15.com reports that the wrong-way driver “… admitted to drinking before driving and blood tests came back with a blood alcohol level of .160”
Some recent news items. Also, be sure to check out the “cold medicine” guy from a few days ago…
6/6/2017 double-fatality ~8PM, began driving around airport, including through parking structures the wrong way and breaking through the arm/gate: Wrong way driver 56-year-old Ronald Wayne Mollenhauer killed another driver, Young Lee on a transition ramp between I-10 and SR51. A third driver was injured. Given the ww driver is dead, you probably won’t hear much about this again. Was he impaired by drugs or alcohol, or some other impairment? Most ww drivers are. We’ll have to wait for FARS to find out which will report any chemical testing results. Continue reading More Wrong-way freeway driving; can detection help?
Cold medicine? maybe, just maybe plain-old drunk. We’ll see. Interesting comment about victim’s rights, and appearing in court
A total of 13 people requested victim’s rights due to the driver using his vehicle as a deadly instrument… During Walker’s initial appearance, one of the alleged victims addressed the judge.
“We were inches from actually crashing into him, and that in itself is an emotional trauma,” the man said. “He’s not safe and he shouldn’t be out in society placing others in danger.”
It’s good to see ordinary people stick up for their rights and hopefully hold dangerous drivers responsible for their actions.
Despite all the hoopla surrounding wrong-way crashes “Wrong-way collisions are not a new phenomenon and statistically remain unchanged year over year in Arizona.”, nevertheless Gov Ducey wants action. It’s nice to focus attention on traffic safety but perhaps attention could be better focused on the vast majority of traffic fatalities and injuries that don’t involve a wrong-way driver? Continue reading DPS: Wrong-way driver suspected of DUI blamed cold medicine
4/15/2017 ~ 2am. A male wrong-way driver collided headon on the I-17 freeway near Greenway in Phoenix with a vehicle carrying two sisters. All are dead.
The wrong way driver had been traveling for (at least) several miles the wrong way. Continue reading 3 Dead in Wrong Way Wreck I-17 Phoenix
In a longish piece in AZ Republic Live or die on Phoenix-area freeways: It’s your choice (the print edition was headlined 3-year freeway fatality toll: 207) about (specifically metro-Phoenix area. I think they looked at just Maricopa County) freeway traffic fatalities, it was revealed the fatality rate was 61% higher than national averages, per mile driven. I’m not sure exactly what’s counted; it apparently counts only that part of the state highway system that is fully controlled-access, a.k.a. freeways, and in Maricopa county for the purposes of this series of articles.
The usual suspects were called out: speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, motorcycling in general (helmets), not wearing seatbelts.
Things you won’t hear people say: “I would never get in a car… Drivers are just too dangerous” Continue reading 3-year AZ Freeway Fatality Toll
Driver Barbara Christine McLaughlin was arrested after driving the wrong way on Arizona SR-87 near Bush Highway Thursday afternoon. DPS Trooper Pedro Rodriguez heroically intentionally caused a crash in order to stop McLaughlin’s 5,000 pound pickup; probably doing her a big favor, because people who drive pickups the wrong way tend to kill people and go to prison (for a long time). Oh, and after the minor collision, McLaughlin tried to drive away (hit and run). Nice. “impairment is suspected” DPS says. Continue reading Wrong-way driver stopped on SR-87
The driver in one of the headon freeway collisions was sentenced in a plea deal to 14 years in prison. Stephen Martin plea guilty to 2nd degree murder for causing the Jan 2015 death of Phoenix dispatcher Megan Lange. Continue reading Wrong-way driver sentenced to 14 years in death of Phoenix fire dispatcher
Next of kin notification has been completed. The wrong-way driver of the red/maroon Jeep Cherokee SUV was identified as Robert Andrew Cadman age 32, of Phoenix. The driver of the white Toyota Tundra pickup truck was identified as Christopher John Ruiz Jr. age 32, of Phoenix. Continue reading Two dead in Loop 303 wrong-way collision
Cornville Road Head-on collision sends 3 to hospital; just coincidentally this is the same road and very near where cyclist Ethelyn Hartline was killed in 2014 when a motorist failed to overtake her safely.
The driver who police say caused the crash was cited for “Failure to Drive in the Proper Lane, and Causing Serious Physical Injury during a Moving Violation”. That second part would have to be 28-672, a minor criminal misdemeanor that has penalties that can include license suspension, and traffic survival school, as well as a small amount of restitution. I’m unclear what is particular statute the proper lane business refers to — 28-672 has a specific list of enabling violations. It would most likely be 28-729(1) which requires not moving from a lane unless it can be done safely. Crossing a double-yellow is also illegal (statute?), but that’s not a ‘672-enabler.
For much more on dangerous, impaired (mentally, disoriented, or via chemicals/alcohol) see wrong-way. They drive among us. One of my fears is the incidents are being treated as though the problem is with not enough signs on freeway. These are dangerous, criminal in most cases, drivers who are out driving around, who can (and do) cause all sorts of mayhem.
News story about the aftermath of Aug 22, 2015 wrong-way pickup truck driver, 48-year-old Timothy Harjo of Wickenburg. Was driving ~ 70mph north in the southbound lanes of I-17 around 5:45am ~ 12 mile from Sunset Point. DPS Trooper Jeremy Barr acted heroically to essentially crash into the perpetrator, averting what could easily resulted in a major disaster. Continue reading Wrong way August I-17 pickup driver