Bad weekend in Scottsdale

Adot Incident 2609053 Update / FINAL on cyclist McCarty death:  The motorist who killed Shawn McCarty was fined a total of $420 (and the case is apparently closed). Regardless, It would appear that $420 is the “normal” fine schedule that anyone would pay. That would mean that the enhanced fine for 28-735 (section B) was exactly ZERO. How can that be? Would a judge or magistrate actually make that decision, or it is some sort of court “bug”?
§28-735B: “If a person violates this section and the violation results in a collision causing… Death to another person, the violater is subject to a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars”. Here’s another one from a different jurisdiction, Green Valley, from a couple of years ago, again, as far as i see there was no enhanced penalty.
There are a series of stories by blogger Ray Stern of the PhoenixNewTimes; amy_alexander_case_of_killed_bpolice_reportPays $420 fineInattention Cops Say. In particular, the police report offers no explanation other than “inattention”; and a claim by police that cell phone use was not involved

Police tend to pay too much attention to the 3-foot law and not enough to Failure to keep proper lane, which would trigger a 28-672 charge; which should have been charged in this incident, according to the description of the collision, the motorist drifted between lanes  ]

FileNumber: 1205761; will request the DR 12-05761

Ped fatality Saturday, Cyclist fatality Sunday

(3/10 and 3/11). A handful of interesting points: each driver was cited within a day or two of the incident. In the case of the pedestrian mowed down in a crosswalk, the driver was also cited for 28-672 (causing death by violation) which is a criminal (albeit a minor misdemeanor) charge. In the case of the cyclist, according to the driver was cited for violating the 3-foot rule (28-735) and driving in a bike lane (28-815D) [this can be looked up on the Scottsdale muni court: it is TR-2012006430 and the fine was $210 for each — the city apparently didn’t bother with the enhanced penalty for death, 735B]. The police aren’t letting on why the driver so distracted that she was driving in the bike lane (and yes, it’s a real, full-fledged, designated bike lane), other than to say the investigation is continuing. As I pointed out in double-jeopardy-and-flawed-logic it’s unusual (around Arizona) to issue any citations until the close of investigation and getting the go-ahead from a county prosecutor — apparently Scottsdale does things differently.

It is gratifying to see Scottsdale issuing the 28-672 charge when appropriate… I have no way to check this but it seems way under-utilized. In the end, though, it may be little more than a slap on the wrist, see e.g. this case where it seems to have merely amounted to a $200 fine — hardly a behavior-changing penalty. Last month, Scottsdale also charged a driver making a bad left with 28-672 which resulted in the death of a boy riding legally in the crosswalk (a la Maxwell v. Gossett).

Pedestrian: Judith May, 69 / driver: Frederick Matschull, 72; Case TR-2012006196

Cyclist: Shawn McCarty, 53 / driver: Amy Alexander, 40; Case TR-2012006430.

lookup Scottsdale Municipal Court records by case number at

Lindsey Lucero – Mar. 12, 2012 03:16 PM The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team

A bicyclist died Sunday evening after being struck by an SUV on Thompson Peak Parkway about 4:30 p.m., Scottsdale police said Monday.

Shawn McCarty, 53, of Scottsdale, was traveling northbound in the bike lane when the female driver of a black Chevy Tahoe, 40-year-old Amy Alexander of Scottsdale, swerved into the bike lane, striking McCarty. It wasn’t immediately known what caused her to swerve.

Police were called to the scene just north of 100th Street on Thompson Peak Parkway, and McCarty was transported to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Thompson Peak Parkway was closed until about 11 p.m. Sunday. Police have ruled out alcohol, drugs and the driver’s speed as factors in the collision.

In a separate collision in Scottsdale, a pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle early Saturday.

Judith May, 69, a California resident, was killed after being hit by a pickup at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. May was crossing the street on the east side of Scottsdale Road at Osborn Road when the pickup turned left and struck her. Police said there’s no indication the pickup driver, Frederick Matschull, 72, of Mesa, was impaired.

Both drivers were cited in the collisions.

7 thoughts on “Bad weekend in Scottsdale”

  1. The Scottsdale site and publicaccess seem to indicate that for 28-672 (collision resulting in death), Frederick Matschull 1) was represented by a lawyer; 2) waived his right to trial; 3) is fined $216.95; 4) is scheduled for sentencing in some 6 months as part of “deferred prosecution”.

  2. … regarding Matschull case, publicaccess now also shows:

    6/19/2012 FINE SUSPENDED D 1
    6/19/2012 Program Suspended/Reduced D 1
    6/19/2012 CHANGE OF PLEA HELD D 1
    6/19/2012 REQUEST TO SEE THE JUDGE D 1

    So it would seem to me that the guilty plea was vacated in favour of deferred prosecution. I have no idea why that was allowed (or considered worthy of anyone’s time). It’s unclear if he’s expected to pay the fine, but “refund ordered” sounds negative.

    The disposition is different than yesterday, when it said something like “JDGMT GUILTY/RESP SENT IMPOSED”. I wonder if there was even a prosecutor in this case? It says “prosecutor diversion program”, so you would think so. It is “Category: Criminal” but docketed as
    TR-2012006196, so who knows

  3. Then on April 7, 2012 in east Mesa on McDowell Road a distracted driver mowed down 3 riders, riding single-file in the bike lane (actually was probably a shoulder?), while fiddling with her GPS, according to reports. All three were seriously injured:

    The driver was later identified as 60 y.o. Kimberly Larson

    The Kimberly Larson case is maricopa sheriff report #12060497. Their records office told that a citation had been issued as #A556336.

    I finally found that this was handled by the E Mesa Justice Court. On August 16, she plead guilty to 28-672; 28-729 was dismissed. She was ordered to complete traffic survival school. Maricopa justice court case TR2012-132585.
    Court records (obtained later) showed No fine was imposed, but her license was suspended for 90 days, and she is ordered to pay up to 30,000 in restitution.

    The victim’s were:
    Scott Drozdz, 44, of Tempe, Brent Holderman, 43, of Gilbert, and Angelito Paras Silla, 49, of Mesa, were riding with a larger group along McDowell Road about one-half block from 88th Street when they were struck by a white Chevrolet SUV, MCSO Officer Chris Hegstrom said.

    Good news to report on the injured cyclists who were hit yesterday…all are in stable condition with high recovery probability.
    Lito Silla, Scott Drozdz and Brent Holderman where riding in a single file when hit from behind in the bike lane near McDowell Rd and Ellsworth. The SUV hit Scott, then Brent and then Lito. The driver was distracted adjusting her GPS. Scott and Brent were hit the hardest. The timing was especially provincial of the 4 Brumby cyclist Doctors who were immediately on the scene as two of them had gearing problems which unprecedently forced them to walk up the last portion of Usery Pass. Had this not occured they would not have been behind them at the time of the accident tend to their injuries and keep Scott alive by opening his breathing airways.
    Lito had an exposed fractured in his wrist, broken collarbone and intense road rash on the knee. He had surgery and he is fine and in high spirits.
    Brent broke his neck, his spine, some ribs and his hip. He can move and is conscious. They will do an MRI to see if he needs surgery on the spine, or if he just needs a brace.
    Scott broke his neck, ribs, had a big cut in his neck and has some bleeding in his brain. He will have surgery to put some plates in his neck and they will wait 24 hours to determine the condition in his brain. He was conscious and he moved all his limbs, but because of the brain injury he is sedated.
    They are all in Scottsdale Healthcare in Osborn.

  4. Here’s the text version of an entry on TBAG’s website from a couple of years ago:
    APRIL 29, 2017 BY PATRICK
    Scottsdale: It will cost you $450 to kill a person
    Let. This. Sink. In. Your life is worth $450

    The Mafia had it harder, they actually had to bribe the police and elected officials. I am betting it cost them way more that $450 to make someone “disappear”. Payments to the police, council and the unfortunate decedent’s family add up. Scottsdale’s own Amy Alexander had it way easier and is only lighter in the purse by 450 “bone$” after driving over fellow cyclists Shawn McCarthy.

    Speaking of bones, there are 206 in the human body. Mr. McCarty almost certainly had several of his broken while Mrs. Alexander, possibly in, possibly out of control (reports were not clear) of her Chevy Silverado, struck and killed Mr. McCarthy on March 12th, 2017. According to reports from and

    Shawn McCarty was cycling northbound on Thompson Peak Pkwy in the bike lane. Amy Alexander, in control of a Chevy Tahoe (GVW 55oo lbs), swerved into the bike lane, striking McCarty. It wasn’t immediately known what caused her to swerve.

    Science Section: A Chevy Tahoe traveling at 45 mph has the kinetic energy of (roughly) 1/2 million joules
    Scarry section: You are driving around in a 500,ooo watt ray gun.

    According to reports, after striking Mr McCarthy, Mrs Alexander immediately consulted her husband (a lawyer) who wisely advised his client to remain silent when the police arrived. This author has been deposed several times, and, while you should never say anything other than what is asked, shutting up when you run over someone is probably a good idea if you want get away with manslaughter in the USA.

    In this author’s opinion, as with most tragedies, there are several people to blame, I’ll lay out my thoughts in order:

    First, Mrs Alexander, based on reports, was responsible for the control of her vehicle and f#$*ing killed someone.

    Second, I believe the City of Scottsdale’s Chief Attorney, Bruce Washburn, showed a complete disregard for life. Given the circumstances, almost any competent and aggressive prosecutor could have gotten a conviction or at least made a statement by charging the perp. Instead Scottsdale let it be known that, for the cost of an iPhone, you can kill someone. (Prediction: Bruce Washburn will be more angry at this post than with the death of someone in his city because we just don’t understand the complexities of modern jurisprudence)

    Third: I believe the State of Arizona’s Legislature has no real statute to protect vulnerable road users. The failure to simply pass a law saying; if you break it, you bought it; strikes a discordant note to me given all the accountability talk going on under the copper capitol dome. Note, ARS 28-735 is, in my opinion, extremely weak and not a solid attempt to protect vulnerable users.

    This was no accident, and could have been prevented with attentive driving, aggressive prosecution and safer road design. That being said, Mrs. Alexander broke it and bought it. Her lawyer’s advice was free, The City of Scottsdale charged Mrs. Alexander $450 for killing Mr. McCarthy.

    If you also believe this is crazy, consider contributing to T.B.A.G (a 501 C3 non-profit). We support bicycling across the alley and we directly help 3 Feet Please; your support helps our efforts toward safety noted here:

  5. In the wake of the recent very similar killing of Miodrag Milovanovic, also in Scottsdale, I finally got around to requesting and receiving ($5. Procedure worked well, by the way) a copy of Shawn McCarty / Amy Alexander DR ( 12-05761 ) as well as full ACR ( 2609053 ):
    The scenario is beyond (well beyond) a reasonable doubt that the Driver failed to maintain proper lane, a violation of 28-729; This should have in turn enabled a 28-672 criminal charge from the Scottsdale city attorney.
    Instead the police seem to have taken it upon themselves, without the input of any prosecutor (i.e. neither the county, nor the city) to issue two civil citations: one for passing at less than 3 feet, and another for driving in a bike lane. These citations were issued within a few days, which is unusual in the case of a fatality involved investigation; particularly where it is the case the driver obviously caused the death of another.
    Nothing in the investigation determined (or even asked; at least according to the written report) why the driver could have been distracted.
    It had been suggested that the husband of the driver being an attorney had something to do with that outcome; it seems more likely to me the Scottsdale PD have poor procedures for handling bicyclist cases; if only due to the infrequency. There are fewer than one fatal a year, although there are at least a handful of serious injury crashes per year, so it’s not something that they should get a pass on.

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