12/26/2019 11:15AM Bell Rd at 35th Ave, Phoenix. The driver of the grey Avenger “was driving west at a high rate of speed and entered the intersection, colliding with the (red) Mustang”, after which he drove up on the sidewalk and killed/injured a bunch of people. The Mustang driver was attempting to turn left. Police have said they intend to charge the as yet unnamed Avenger driver with manslaughter and aggravated assault.
The victims were at a bus stop. Besides those dead, there were multiple other less-serious injured pedestrians, according to the news reports.
There’s a school of thought that says a left turn here should only be permitted on a protected (exclusive and restricted) green arrow phase; this intersection does have a left arrow phase, but lefts are not restricted during the circular green phase. There are many lanes of oncoming traffic (3 thru plus RTO and LTO) not to mention the crosswalk on a 45mph arterial; in other words, it’s a lot for left-turning drivers to reliably process; and in that telling, the fault is with the road (or signal) design; that would cover the mistakes made (i.e. speeding, possibly running the red, and/or a left-turn error). Drivers in general do not like that because it reduces the “flow” of the intersection.
…(phx police spokesperson) said both drivers were evaluated and determined not to be impaired but that the Avenger’s speed appears to be a factor in the crash. Investigators will be submitting charges for manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment for the driver of the Avenger. His name has not yet been released.
Jonathan Marroquin’s family has set up a GoFundMe for funeral expenses.
Speaking of Bus Stops
Dead peds at a bus stop? Seriously, how often do thinkgs like this happen? Pretty often apparently:
And that’s just the few that I know about. (sarcastic) Reminder to pedestrians to be sure to always wear bright clothes so drivers can see you as they drive up on the sidewalk.
Normally for purposes of establishing fault, a driver making a left-turn is solely faulted. In this particular incident police have indicated they believe the straight-thru driver’s speed was excessive, and presumably making it reckless (brush up on homicide terms here). It’s not mentioned but also possible that they believe he entered the intersection on a red.
Prosecutors are loath to bring any charges against non-impaired drivers; making it a self-fulfilling prophesy that there are no criminal consequences for drivers who kill and maim. We’ll see what they actually come up here.
Even when there’s some other clear evidence, e.g. very drunk, charges are sometimes not brought, e.g. police say Collin Reeves was very drunk at .145 BAC proceeding straight ahead and collided with a left-turning driver at the intersection of McKellips and Alma School Rd in Mesa, resulting in two motorist deaths County Attorney drops charges on accused drunk driver who killed 2 . Witnesses say Reeves’ light was red; but prosecutors claim they can’t prove anything, thus the dropped charges.
On the other hand, it is certainly possible for straight-going drivers who become involved in a collision with a left-turner to be be convicted of manslaughter, see death of Cal Holman.