Force of deadly crash in Tempe splits car in half, driver arrested

Sat 11/25/2023 “early morning” ~ 1:30A

Rural Road southbound, just south of Broadway, Tempe. Driver is suspected of impairment and excessive speed; crossed over and struck a fixes object, a “single vehicle” type crash.

Rural Road is very wide. (too wide?). This apparently allegedly involved street racing; the evening tv news (pasted below), the crash occurred on the property of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, on the east side of Rural Road.

Force of deadly crash in Tempe splits car in half, driver arrested

Two people are dead, and a driver has been arrested after a car crash in Tempe. The force of the collision was so strong that the vehicle split in two.

Tempe Police say 32-year-old Derek Glasscok [probably Glasscock]was heading south on Rural Road near Broadway Road, then crossed multiple lanes of traffic before hitting a fixed object.

Police say speed and impairment may have played a role in the collision.

Prosecutors are very adept at seeking charges against drivers who kill people while impaired, with routine outcomes of long (~ 10 years) prison sentences. See this sheet for a curated list of usually recent AZ traffic criminal cases.

The costs involved, human and financial, are monstrous; is anybody else wondering about long prison sentences; I mean in terms of cost, deterrence, and possible alternatives? I’m thinking a long and actually enforced license revocation could be more effective.

As was pointed out here, Arizona only has the illusion of tough drunk driving laws, and unless someone gets killed, the penalties are rarely significant. And what about “street racing”? Arizona has some specific laws that have some very mild consequences (mostly misdemeanor; and certainly no possibility of going to prison).

More details were revealed the next day:

Suspect speeding over 150 mph before crash that killed 2 passengers, Tempe police say

Just after 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, Tempe police saw two cars street racing in the area of Rural and Terrace roads. According to court documents, the cars were going over 100 in a 35 mph zone. Officers tried to stop one of the cars involved, a blue Ford Mustang, but it sped away. Police did not attempt to chase the car, but moments later, officers saw a cloud of smoke rising into the air…
Police then found the same Mustang had crashed into a power pole on the east side of Rural Road just south of Broadway. Documents say Glasscock was pinned in the driver’s seat and that his two passengers had been ejected….
Based on evidence at the scene, police believe Glasscock was going 153 mph at the time of the crash. Documents indicate that after he lost control, the car went airborne, crashing into a utility pole and two palm trees. Investigators found that the Mustang was over 9 feet in the air when it hit one of the palm trees. Police called it an “extremely violent” crash that resulted in Rangel being thrown from the car with such force that she was found 80 feet away behind a building.

Criminal Case

Nothing yet.

Court lookup in the usual place didn’t turn up any prior history.

One thought on “Force of deadly crash in Tempe splits car in half, driver arrested”

  1. The overall problem–unsafe driving, too many vulnerable user deaths,etc., can’t be fixed with one solution. It’s not either/or. Would significantly greater sentences help? If they were applied even when a driver isn’t speeding or impaired but just distracted, careless? Yes. It’s a continuum. Causing death due to impairment might be 20 years. Driving carelessly causing significant injury might be 60 days in jail and revocation of license for six months–and booting the car.

    Designing roads so it’s harder to drive carelessly is paramount. Again, not the sole answer but probably the most important. Roads where the speed limit is 40 mph or less need to have narrow lanes–maybe 10 feet. Bump out crosswalks in all urban areas. Replace stop lights with stop signs. Revoke right turn on red laws.

    Greater enforcement is also important. Make it easier. Speed and red light cameras with fines commensurate with speed are necessary. 2 mph over the speed limit might be $10. 30 mph over the speed limit might be $1,000. Saying the speed limit is 40 mph but ignoring those going 50 mph reinforces the idea that speed limits are not really important. In my area, cops have said they don’t stop anyone unless they’re going more than 20 mph over.

    We need to reeducate the news media to stop being mouthpieces for the cops’ framing of issues. Why regurgitate that the driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation? That’s what they’re supposed to do. It’s not news that they did. #CrashNotAccident #DriverNotCar. Follow-up. Get the final investigation and get a good explanation of why the final report says what it says.

    I was hit by a driver. Video of the crash from a camera on my bike were given to the cops within a week of the crash. See: The final report said I swerved to the middle of the lane. When I pointed out the error, the cops’ lawyers said they wouldn’t change the final report. The cops never talked to me. They took the word of the driver, as neither the ticket nor the final report listed ANY witnesses.

    Cops are big part of the problem and news media should not repeat cops’ framing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *