11/22/2016 ~7:30 Bicyclist Eric I. Gilbert was hit and killed by a driver who (lost control or whatever) jumped the curb and struck the cyclist (on the sidewalk or dirt, presumably; see google maps view of the general vicinity). The driver, of course, fled the scene; and the suspect vehicle was found a short distance away. A suspect driver was fingered via the owner of the vehicle and was arrested a couple of days later. MSCO says the suspect said he was on heroin at the time.
The crash occurred as the suspect was driving eastbound on University Dr near 105th Place. This area I would have thought was city of Mesa but apparently it’s in unincorporated area. The road has curb/gutter both sides, there are some sporadic sidewalks and driveway aprons, it’s mostly just dirt beyond the curbs.
The driver, Michael David Mullins 12/76, in caselookup has a bunch of drug-related court issues in Yuma County 2008-9. There is also some very recent stuff in Maricopa County Superior court.
The current incident is at the moment being charged only as a hit-and-run violation, though it would appear to be additionally something more like manslaughter could, or should, have been charged:
Anyway, the defendant’s sentence for the hit-and-run netted 8.5 years in prison, in a plead deal. Any prison for a hit-and-run would be virtually unheard of (normally netting only a brief jail stay plus probation)… and presumably had to do with some other cases he is involved in…
There are a couple of other criminal cases surrounding the driver, both various drugs charges; both of which resulted in “suspended sentence – probation granted”:
- Crime date 11/2/2016: CR-2016151879 ; and case minutes, and
- Crime date 11/24/2015: CR-2016150987 ; and case minutes
Some strange notes: FARS notes the bicyclist location was sidewalk, consistent with the news reports; but lists the crash type as “motorist overtaking”; that seems wrong.
There’s a more general “motorist lost control” or somesuch that seems more applicable.
MESA, AZ – A driver, who was allegedly impaired by heroin, hit and killed a man on a bicycle near Mesa, according to court records.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that 39-year-old Michael David Mullins was driving a red Mazda minivan in the eastbound lanes of University near 105th Place when he drove up on a curb, hit a mailbox then the bicyclist on the evening of Nov. 22 around 7:30 p.m.
The bicyclist, identified as Eric I. Gilbert, was taken to a hospital but died about an hour later.
MCSO said that the van was found abandoned about a half-mile away. When deputies contacted the van’s owner, he told them that he lent the vehicle to Mullins.
Mullins was located and arrested on unrelated charges two days after the crash. He told MCSO that he was not aware that he hit a person and that he thought he only hit the mailbox. He admitted being under the influence of heroin at the time of the crash, deputies said.
Mullins told deputies that he fled because he has outstanding charges from other police agencies. He has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal injury accident.