Pecos Death Trap?

UPDATE SEP 22,2010: AFN reports that that there was an injury wreck at 32nd and Pecos resulting from a “bad left”. The 17 y.o. EB driver turned left into the path of the WB driver, who was injured “seriously but not life threatening”. Bad lefts were the cause of both a 2003 fatality and a 2007 very serious injuries; both of those were at 40th and Pecos.

UPDATE OCT 16, 2009: More dangerous automobile driving — the AFN reports a 4 car pileup with no serious injuries: “two vehicles heading west were driving aggressively when one changed lanes and clipped a vehicle. A third vehicle was hit and spun into the median, went airborne and hit a eastbound vehicle”. no mention of any charges, or even citations, as usual — aggressive driving is a CRIME…. will we see any charges?

UPDATE OCT 8, 2009: A fifth fatality occurred just east of 40th and Pecos when a westbound driver crossed over the median and hit a dump truck head-on. A car like the one that crashed had been reported as speeding and driving erratically on 202 just before the collision. Brian P. Evans, 31, of Chandler died at the scene. [afn article]. While I’m on the subject, a Pecos Road tragedy was narrowly averted Sept 28th: “Police arrested [suspicion of DUI] Rogelio Hernandez Castillo, 40, near 40th Street and Pecos Road for traveling east in the westbound lane in a white Ford F-150.” [afn article]

UPDATE SEP 29 2009: According to AFN Drunk wrong-way driver arrested on Pecos Road “Police arrested Rogelio Hernandez Castillo, 40, near 40th Street and Pecos Road” PBT of 0.15. The story also noted “two joggers was seriously injured by a drunk driver in 2007 and the intersection of 40th Street and Pecos Road”

UPDATE SEP 2009: According to AFN, bicyclist “Adam Folts, was injured Tuesday afternoon when a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old Desert Vista student rear-ended him on Pecos Road near 32nd Street.”. This does not appear in ADOT crash database, which is odd/wrong since it involved injury(?)

UPDATE 2, another fatality;  at the I-10 to Pecos transition, in the wee hours of Dec 30, 2007.  Weerasak Senaprakome, 21 hit a barrier or something was the driver in a single car collision. This probably doesn’t have anything in particular to do with Pecos Road. But would be five for those keeping a body count. In the Ahwatukee Foothills News story, Doug Murphy wrote “…While Pecos Road doesn’t have an unusually high number of crashes, motorists have often complained that speeds far exceed the posted 55 mph speed limit”. (I think the limit is actually 50, by the way). I don’t know about the crash rate but the fatality rate sure seems high(?).

UPDATE: A fourth fatality plus serious injury occurred Christmas eve 2007. Trang Vo (34 y.o. female) was killed, plus 3 more seriously injured. Christopher Smith, 30, of Tempe was apparently driving the wrong way and caused the head-on collision — DUI possible in Pecos Road fatal collision, The Ahwatukee (Arizona) Republic, Dec 27, 2007. Trial to be held in early 2010.

Crash Database Results 2009-2013

During this 5-year period, there have been 151 reported crashes along Pecos Rd in city of Phoenix; severity as follows: NO_INJURY 84; POSSIBLE_INJURY 32; NON_INCAPACITATING_INJURY 20; INCAPACITATING_INJURY 12; FATAL 3. Is that a lot? I don’t know — offhand i don’t have anything to compare it to.

select IncidentID,IncidentYear, CityID, TotalNonMotorists,eInjurySeverity,eJunctionRelation,OnRoad,CrossingFeature from 2009_incident WHERE ((OnRoad LIKE 'PECOS%') OR (CrossingFeature LIKE 'PECOS%')) AND CityID=214 ;



Is Pecos Road here in Ahwatukee (Phoenix, AZ) a death trap?

In the recent [ed note: the below describes several fatalities that occurred between sometime up until 2007. Since then, see udates above, there have been several more fatalities and serious injuries; the driver of a motor vehicle was at fault in all these incidents]  past there have been 3 fatalities along Pecos Road. The most recent serious collision which occurred Friday September 14, 2007 is strikingly similar to the crash on December 2, 2003 that took the life of Sarah Wintz. On November 28, 2003, just five days earlier Phuong Pham was killed while attempting to enter Pecos Road at Desert Foothills Parkway, which at the time was before the traffic signal was installed. And in November 2004 cyclist Don Anselmo was killed on the shoulder as a driver simply drifted off the road.

A motor vehicle driver was negligent in all the deaths, as well as all of the many (maybe all, details are sketchy on some of the injuries) serious injuries.

Pecos crash leaves 13-year-old fighting for life, Doug Murphy …The crash was almost identical to the December 2003 collision that killed 17-year-old Sarah Wentz [should be Wintz]. The driver of the small pickup truck in which she was a passenger, 17-year-old Brian Norethrup [should be Northrup], was seriously injured when he turned north onto 40th Street from Pecos Road and was struck by an oncoming pickup truck. Both were seniors at Mountain Pointe High School….

Update 9/21/2007 issue of Ahwatukee Foothills News, Teen injured in crash at Pecos/40th still critical: “It is clearly visible on the video that (Arturo) Ruiz [the left-turning driver] is at fault,” said Sgt. Joel Tranter, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department. “It is failure to yield to oncoming traffic while turning left at an intersection. The Nissan was clearly in the intersection on yellow – he (Shugrue [the straight-through driver]) was lawfully in the intersection.” [Note the video refers to a photo-enforcement camera video]

Regarding the Wintz fatality — December 2, 2004:

The vehicles collided as the Toyota driven by Northrup was turning left onto 40th Street and John Andrew Casey’s Ford F-350 entered the intersection.

There is an internet forum posting in something called the [H]ard|Forum, where the hard refers to (computer) hardware. Anyways, the post was written January 2004, under the moniker of DarkEve and he purports to be Brian Northup. There are many tidbits of information — the veracity of which is very hard to determine. e.g. something about a brake recall on Ford F-350, “…found by Sarah’s parents attorney. Apparently the other driver has a history of tickets and previous accidents…”, “…it has been determined by police that he was traveling at a very excessive rate of speed…”,” I got the police report today (1/23/2004) as did Sarah’s parents…The police report found the accident to be his fault, but did not issue any tickets.” Here is a long passage posted 1/30/2004:

In the police report he states that he was going exactly the speed limit and wasnt speeding at all. Then claims that the light was green and that I gunned it to try to make it through. Even his passengers said that he was speeding…

He was one of two people who said it was green. The other guy also said that my car flipped… which it didnt, lol.

6 other witnesses said either yellow or red, and every single other person stopped but him.

He also claimed that there wasnt time to hit his brakes… after he left between 100 and 175 feet of tread marks… because all cars leave those with no brakes on or anything at all like that.

He said that because he couldnt hit the brakes, he attempted to swerve. Yet somehow he pushed my truck STRAIGHT back between 30 and 75 feet… and every single other witness said that he went straight into my truck and that he hit the gas.

When Sarah’s parents claimed wrongfun death from our insurance, we gladly gave it to them. That’s why its included in insurance. That is what its there for. when they claimed it from his insurance… his insurance company had no idea what they were talking about because he had never told them. He then tried to fight it… and of course lost. He has numerous ticktes that were on the internet that my dad fought, but after a day or two they were all mysteriously removed and no more information could be found on him anywhere. The fact of the matter is that you have to live up to what you get for your actions. Do I plan on being involved in sueing him? Very much so now.

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