Speeding driver kills two in east Mesa; arrested

Tuesday afternoon 3/22/2022 5:30pm.

Mesa police say 21 y.o. driver Gezane Izreal Cabanillas-Lape was speeding at ~ 100mph along Main street (aka Apache Blvd) at Windsor and struck a minivan; killing both elderly occupants. Police arrested the driver on susp of 2nd degree murder, along with agg assault due to his passenger’s injuries, the news item mentions that impairment is not suspected.

Apache Blvd (Main Street) is very wide; three thru in each direction plus a raised, hard median with left turn pockets… leading to it being very easy. and very comfortable to drive very fast.

the investigation revealed the Hettichs were traveling north on Windsor and crossing over Main Street when Cabanillas-Lape, who was traveling westbound on Main Street, collided with their minivan at a speed of over 100 mph. The speed limit on the road was 45 mph. — azcentral.com

From an traffic engineering perspective; it’s curious to note that the victims were here situated northbound on Windsor, and were apparently crossing straight ahead into what would be the private drive of Trail Rider’s Ranch. At that point, a left is prohibited, presumably because it’s hard to turn left; but straight across is not prohibited.

Another fun fact is Sal DiCiccio, a city council person in nearby Phoenix, which is plagued with similar traffic-carnage and enormous streets — has an answer for traffic problems; upon voting against studying “vision zero” (twice!) he says things like “If you want to save lives, fix the potholes and pave the dangerous roads. It’s not a coincidence that our roads started to crumble in 2014 and the number of pedestrian deaths went up. That is a fact.” Well, we can’t argue with facts, I guess. Sorry for the sarcasm.

He also believes yellow light timing is bad and somehow causing traffic fatalities and injuries. (there’s no basis for that conclusion; the vast majority of serious red-light injury crashes revolve around a driver disregarding a red mid-cycle, not one or two seconds after a red begins)… His belief is even more puzzling now that Phoenix, thanks in part of course to Sal, got rid of red-light camera enforcement a couple of years ago.

Criminal Speeding and the criminal case

You can read up on so-called “criminal speeding” here. arizona-rep-mosley-brags-on-video-about-speeding

When impairment isn’t suspected or involved, if criminal speeding can be proved, it does give prosecutors the gumption to seek significant felony charges;

Without impairment, it’s generally hard to get any prosecutor to bring anything like 2nd degree murder (or more likely manslaughter)… defense would certainly argue the defendant wasn’t going that fast (although I suppose speed from a “black box” is a possibility), and that he had the right-of-way; as the dead driver had a stop sign at Windsor.

This crash mode does remind me of this one where a driver was bombing along an arterial street in Glendale at 81mph and killed a driver who emerged from a sidestreet; the driver wasn’t charged with anything serious, just a misdemeanor criminal speeding charge. The whole affair being complicated by the fact the driver was an MSCO deputy.

A similar crash in West Valley, November ?, 2021 — two suspects charged w manslaughter:

“2 men arrested in high-speed Arizona crash that killed pickup driver” https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/surprise-breaking/2022/03/25/2-men-arrested-in-connection-with-high-speed-crash-near-sun-city-west-that-killed-pickup-driver/7158767001/

Similarities are: the suspect(s) are young and male, 18 and 21 y.o. The victim is elderly, 85 y.o.

Suspect(s) we’re traveling straight ahead, and speed was excessive. (The suspects in this incident were presumably engaged in some sort of Street racing)

The victim would not have had the right away under normal circumstances. He was making me left and turn in this case.

See also this one from 2007, nearly identical left turner Cal Holman was killed when he was struck by a couple of Street racers in Scottsdale “Update on Van Brakel’s manslaughter sentence – Arizona Bike Law

The Criminal Case

History: superiorcourt.maricopa.gov

Minutes: courtminutes.maricopa.gov

Ongoing as of June 2023

One thought on “Speeding driver kills two in east Mesa; arrested”

  1. This section of Main St has no bicycle lane. Only a few “Share the road with bicycle” signs on a street with a 45 mph spees limit and 3 lanes in each direction..

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