PD: Bicyclist killed by impaired driver at South Mountain park in Phoenix

FINAL(?) UPDATE: sentencing occurred 10/14/2022; see discussion below.

10/29/2017 bicyclist killed in headon crash with wrong-way susp. impaired driver.
Summit Trail Road inside South Mountain Park, Phoenix. There were no specific location given, here is a sample of the Summit Road.

Here’s an illustration of an uphill section leading into a blind curve to the right. The road is a windy two-lane, with very narrow lanes; I get something under 20 feet from edgeline to edgeline, making each lane a bit under 10 feet. Sand/rocks/gravel is prevalent. Here’s a good view of a cyclist using the road.

Criminal Case

  • Maricopa County Superior Court Case CR2017-149739
  • Case Minutes. Most recent minute indicates sentencing is scheduled for Oct 14, 2022. This is pretty funny/sad in the minute from April 7, 2022, it says “The number of continuances granted before this continuance was: Sixteen (16)”! Judge mad?

Annaleah Dominguez was indicted 11/8/2017 on a charge of reckless manslaughter (a class 2 felony);

PLEA DEAL — court minute 7/29/2022

For reasons not stated — they never are, our prosecutors work in virtual secrecy — the driver was allowed to plea to the lesser charge of Negligent Homicide. This is still a serious felony, however, the prosecutor has stipulated in the deal it is “non-dangerous”. Is this a sweetheart deal? Were there evidence problems? I guess we’ll never know, because of the opacity of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

This will likely (she has yet to be sentenced) yield, by far, the lightest sentence azbikelaw is aware of in Arizona if it where an impaired motorist killing someone (again, but are there evidence problems with the impairment?). The driver’s actions were reckless on their face (driving on the wrong side of the road around a curve) irrespective of impairment; recklessly is the standard for manslaughter — so how did it get down to negligent homicide?

This information was posted  by Eric Arentsen, on the Big Orange Public Facebook page, and was also picked up by bikinginla :

Big Orange member, Rob Dollar, was killed almost five years ago. An impaired driver crossed a double yellow line and took Rob’s life in a head-on accident as he was riding his bike. We encourage those that knew Rob to send a note to the Probation Officer encouraging the stiffest sentence possible. The driver is facing 1 to 3 ½ years in jail for negligent homicide [I think it’s actually 1.5 / 2.5 / 3 years, min/presumptive/max. We hope you will make your voices heard at the sentencing by sending a note today.
Send your email to Diane.Knuepfer@jbazmc.maricopa.gov by September 28 with your thoughts about the sentence and how Rob’s death has impacted your life. Here are some bullet points to get you thinking:
· How has Rob’s death impacted you? Please build on what Rob meant to you and the community.
· How has the crime (guilty of negligent homicide) affected your life? If you are a cyclist, have you changed where you ride or how you ride?
· What are your thoughts regarding the sentence the court should impose on the defendant?
Deadline is Sept 28.

Note that the incarceration time referred to above is only theoretical, since this is being sentenced as “non-dangerous” there need not be any jail time; it can be all probation, entirely at the sentencing judge’s discretion.

The change of plea hearing:

I got a copy of the “fortherecord” recording of the 7/29/2022 hearing from Maricopa County Superior court which was to go over the plea deal and enter a change of plea. [although was an archaic process where you leave a voicemail at 602-506-7100, and then they mail you a dvd, it did work and is, at this time, free of charge. Took about 3 weeks]

“… your drivers license will be revoked…” [this is presumably due to 28-3304. Mandatory revocation of license;  and seem to  causes a 3 year revocation per 28-3315E1]

there are no stipulations in the agreement as to whether sentence will result in only probation, or prison [I.e. it would be up to the judge at sentencing]. however, “if probation is granted you will be required to serve 12 months in county jail, not to be deleted or deferred…”; though would be eligible, for work furlough.

defense lawyer: “Ms. Dominguez did commit negligent homicide, ultimately with criminal negligence. She caused the death of another individual named Robert Dollar. The criminal negligence, your honor, as you’re aware, she was driving uphill on South Mountain she was aware of, and disregarded, a substantial and unjustifiable risk which did occur, uh, ultimately veering into the oncoming traffic lane, against double-yellow lines, as she did that, impact occurred with a cyclist, Mr. Dollar causing his death.” [oddly, the “aware of” business is admitting the action was reckless, implying manslaughter]

The judge then asked if anything from the prosecutor —

prosecutor: “Judge, my only addition would be that had this matter proceeded to trial the state would introduce evidence that she had alcohol and drugs in her system at the time, near the time, of the crash…”

Sentencing (#sentencing)

Sentencing Hearing; Oct 14, 2022 9am Judge Beresky

ABC15 says 3 years.

Here is the sentencing minute, and as reported,  she was sentenced to “A Maximum term of 3 years”; and some references made to money, fees, and restitution due. This is referred to as a “maximum” sentence, not because it can be shortened later, but rather because that is the maximum per statute, see azbikelaw.org/sentencing . There’s also something about community supervision, which I don’t quite understand (comes after prison?)… anyway, i’m more concerned with how they handle licencse revocation, which is supposed to be automatic (due to the crime involved. see above)… and does anyone really verify that she’s not driving w/o a license once she gets out (or even while she’s “in” she’s eligible for work furlough according to what the judge said at the change of plea hearing)

The Pre-sentence Report

The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists bought a copy of the pre-sentence report, as prepared by the Arizona Probation Department; (which was pricey, by the way, at $30, ;which is 50 cents/page which seems too expensive, it’s just a scan). The report itself is a couple of pages, and attached were all the letters sent to APD ahead of sentencing. It does note that according to the police report,

“an officer detected a faint odor of alcohol. She performed poorly on field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test revealed a 0.082% BAC. It is noted that elsewhere in the police report it indicated her blood alcohol content was 0.089%. She admitted she used marijuana the day before”

Breath tests are widely considered inaccurate ( and possibly aren’t even  admissible anymore in AZ?), but blood at 0.089 should be strong enough to convict on DUI, especially for a minor where the limit is zero.

A number of the letters attached claimed to be eye-witnesses who saw the driver not stop, continuing toward the top of the mountain (though she was not charged with hit-and-run) where she subsequently appeard to throw contraband (marijuana) out the window.

In any event the report recommends a presumptive sentence, which would be 2.5 years. The judge, as noted above, ultimately went with the max sentence of 3 years.


PD: Bicyclist killed by impaired driver at South Mountain park in Phoenix

Robert Dollar, 36, was riding his 10-speed bicycle southbound from the top of South Mountain around 9:40 a.m. Sunday. As he rounded the corner, 19-year-old Annaleah Dominguez struck and killed Dollar.

According to police, Dominguez was driving northbound on Summit Trail Road with two passengers inside. She crossed the double yellow lines going northbound in the southbound lanes to pass another bicyclist that was in front of her heading up the trail road.

After Dollar was struck, CPR was performed by citizens and the Phoenix Fire and Medical Department. However, Dollar was pronounced deceased on scene.

Dominguez admitted to officers of recently drinking and ingesting marijuana. The officers discovered a quantity of marijuana just outside the car that one of the passengers threw out after the accident.

Dominguez showed signs of impairment and was booked into jail for manslaughter and drug charges.



Crash Report

FileNumber: 201701904079 -> phoenix number 17001904079 No report available at this time (probably due to criminal proceedings?).

The data has way too many UNKNOWNS; not sure what’s up with that. Directions and so forth. These all seem to have been known. It has the wrong lighting condition, says DARK, but it happened mid-morning.

It correctly lists and faults motorist for DROVE IN OPPOSING LANE. However, it lists cyclist behavior/violation as EXCEEDED_LAWFUL_SPEED which seems rather unlikely

The corrected ADOT incident number is  3426990 (initially it was 3321986; that is gone now, had lots of “unknowns” in it; Need to correct his on spreadsheet)

9 thoughts on “PD: Bicyclist killed by impaired driver at South Mountain park in Phoenix”

  1. Bicyclist are the best and safest. Car drivers should get put away for life f the kill a bicyclist.

  2. I suppose I should have expected this, but a number of cyclists, who are quick to insist they are not blaming cyclists, go on to blame cyclists; in this particular telling, had the uphill cyclists been farther to the right, the drunk driver would not have struck the victim cyclist head-on. I try to explain: it’s the solely the impaired driver’s fault, she passed recklessly and illegally on a blind curve on a two-lane road with extremely narrow lanes, no shoulders, and frequent rocks/sand/gravel/debris at the edges. But still they come, “I hug the shit out of the shoulder as much as possible”, and so forth.
    That explanation may as well just have said Rob Dollar (the victim) would be alive today had been “hugging the shit out of the shoulder”. There was some chatter about how cyclists going downhill might sometimes behave reckless (which is certainly a possibility; just like there are reckless car drivers, there are reckless bicycle drivers), however the business about 15mph speed limit probably isn’t accurate, i expect the road is posted at 25mph (black and white signs), with 15mph curve advisory (a yellow sign)

    Ultimately, and isn’t it always the case?, these people have serious fear-from-the-rear; and feel — against all expert advice — that riding futher to the right is the answer.

  3. Today, January 28, 2020, marks the umpteenth time Annaleigh Dominguez has gone to court. Once again, the trial has been delayed. It seems she’s having a hard time with lawyers; she is now on her fourth one. This one wants an additional reconstruction of the accident.

    Meanwhile, she’s our having a grand old time while Rob’s family and friends miss him every day.

  4. some info here regarding the background of the deal

    John Dollar / August 3
    We had the settlement conference on the 29th. She pleaded guilty to neglect homicide non dangerous. She will be sentenced October 14th. The sentence length will be between 1-3 1/2 years.
    The main concern going to trial for the judge and prosecution attorney is getting a jury that doesn’t have someone (or two) jurors who dislike cyclists and in turn will let her go!
    I Can’t imagine someone would let her go because they don’t like cyclists. But this is the society we live in.
    The laws protecting cyclists That are hit and or killed are horrible. I will be trying to change these after everything is done. Hopefully in the future the victims will get some type of Justice.

  5. prosecutor: EDWARD PAINE
    defense: TODD BAKER, then later LISA POSADA, then later DAVID LOCKHART, then ultimately(?) JOSHUA BLUMENREICH
    judge will ultimately likely be JUSTIN BERESKY

  6. 13-105 13. “Dangerous offense” means an offense involving the discharge, use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury on another person.

  7. There is a chorus of people who claim the reason she got off “light” is that the justice system is biased against bicyclists. I don’t believe that is the case, here are a half-dozen or more previous driver-who-killed-a-bicyclist cases…
    The common thread here is an impaired driver who killed a bicyclist; and received as little as 6.5, but usually 10 years in prison (10.5 is presumptive for dangerous manslaughter). Another clue is in cases involving alcohol, the impairment was usually numerically large, e.g. BAC well above the 0.08 threshold.
    I sprinkled in a few driver who killed other motorists (other drivers, or passengers), who also got 10 years.

    The flip side of that erroneous claim is that if the victim is other than a bicyclist, the criminal driver gets a very harsh penalty.
    As things turn out, it’s usually 10 years prison; and differences are based only on the other specifics of the case (priors, degree of impariment, evidence of impairment, specifics of the crash, etc).

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