Semi driver charged in I-17 fatality

wreckage of Mercedes SUV (Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

[Update: Sentencing here]

11/19/2014: 1 fatality (possibly a second, later) and several injuries when semi driver Brian Knoll drove into a line of stopped traffic on I-17 near Bell Road. He’s been charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangerment; and entered a plea of not guilty to all charges on 12/3. Continue reading “Semi driver charged in I-17 fatality”

Cyclist dead in Ahwatukee car wreck

photo credit:

[UPDATE; criminal case driver sentenced to 6.5 years prison, see below]

[There have been a couple recent items of interest documented at, on Nov 29 there was a MV crash at intersection, and on Dec 1 a mobile speed trailer was set up] Continue reading “Cyclist dead in Ahwatukee car wreck”

Another MM decision; MM card is no defense to DUI

About two weeks after MEDICAL MARIJUANA NO DEFENSE TO DUI CHARGE, another Arizona Court of Appeals Div 1 decision came down that is related to and as expected consistent with their earlier opinion. Please visit that link for more info and scroll down to “Another Court of Appeals Case 11/4/2014”.

Chandler officers killed in separate wrecks

The Chandler police force is reeling from the deaths of two officers only three days apart in unrelated traffic collisions…

(on-duty) City of Chandler Police “Officer David Payne, 37, was sitting on his police motorcycle at a red light at about 12:40 a.m. 10/31/2014 Friday when a car rear-ended him at the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Pennington Drive.” Causing his death. “Police arrested Tempe resident Brian Yazzie, 31, on suspicion of manslaughter and hit-and-run for his role in the collision”. Oh yeah,  plus his license was suspended in (and, presumably, since) 2010. — azcentral

Continue reading “Chandler officers killed in separate wrecks”

Medical marijuana no defense to DUI charge

Quick reference to Marijuana / DUI cases

  1. Supreme Court Harris decision filed 4/22/2014 — (A)(3) charges must be based on an impairing chemical, and not just an inactive metabolite; this was a reversal. This was not a medical marijuana case. More Here.
  2. Court of Appeals Darrah decision filed 10/21/2014, see below. Authorized use of marijuana does not preclude (A)(3) charge.
  3. Court of Appeals Dobson and Anderson decision filed 11/4/2014, see below. Additionally, the  §28-1381D.  immunity for prescription drugs does not include marijuana.
  4. Arizona Supreme Court,  Dobson and Anderson filed 11/20/2015, see below

Continue reading “Medical marijuana no defense to DUI charge”

Wrong-way freeway driver drama continues

Latest incident early morning hours of Friday Oct 17, 2014 when an un-named female 25 year old was suspected of being impaired, driving the wrong way on I-10 from 143 to downtown Phoenix, and causing 4 serious-to-critical injuries. Authorities are doing a very good job of protecting suspects’ identities, for some reason. Continue reading “Wrong-way freeway driver drama continues”

Tucson hit-and-run driver kills cyclist; woman arrested

[Update 4/8/2016: the update is there is absolutely no update on the suspect; it’s been over a year and half. Besides the hit and run, FARS has her at .12 BAC]

9/25/2014 12:23am. Hit run. Driver arrested, suspect intoxication. Suspect Nichole Jacinto. Victim 58 y.o. James Frankiewicz. Another news reports says was struck from behind in bike lane. The area appears to have a striped shoulder; it even goes on to be to the right of a RTO lane at Grant.

Location: southbound on Oracle Rd near Jacinto St. (yes, that is a coincidence; the suspect’s name is also Jacinto).

The most-detailed reporting is at

Continue reading “Tucson hit-and-run driver kills cyclist; woman arrested”

Fatal Tempe Ped hit-and-run; Driver arrested

Friday 9/12/2014 ~ 9pm near McClintock and Apache, Tempe.

Victim was crossing mid-block; Jon Alguire.  29 y.o. suspect Justin Michael Gordecki booked on susp of hit-run, DUI and “False reporting to police” (hmmm?).

Criminal case CR2014144645; so far headed to trial 7/8/2015. It seems plain he is not going to be charged with the victim’s death (mid-block crossing), just a “simple” hit-and-run, along with probably a dui. Not sure what the holdup could be.

There was an additional unrelated ped-MV crash the same night in Tempe at Priest and University with “life-threatening” injury.

Car-scooter crash in Mesa leaves 1 dead

Aug 2, 2014 ~ 7:30AM The driver of a car was speeding and possibly impaired when she failed to stop at t red light, rear-ending a stopped motor scooter driver, killing him. The delay in the arrest was apparently due to the driver’s hospitalization. Julie Ann Gutierrez  was arrested 8/19 on suspicion of manslaughter; and MSCO is awaiting blood test results that could bump up the charge to 2nd degree murder.

Statistical note: motor scooters (and mopeds, and motorized bicycles) are categorized as motorcycles. Continue reading “Car-scooter crash in Mesa leaves 1 dead”

MCSO: Man arrested in fatal East Valley hit-and-run

defendant Derek Tinsley faces felony charge

According to the azfamily/3 video report (sigh, that link is dead; the newpaper story is below) witnesses saw a company pickup vehicle being driven erratically along Apache Trail near 80th St in Mesa, swerving across 3 lanes of traffic, killing a bicyclist riding at the side of the road. Witnesses provided a license plate number for the fleeing vehicle, and police have arrested Derek Tinsley. Continue reading “MCSO: Man arrested in fatal East Valley hit-and-run”

Tucson police: Driver who killed bicyclist was high

Wed June 18,2014 (i think, the news story ran Thursday) ~ 6a. Victim: Kris Lee Chambers, 38. Suspect: Gerardo Luna Cazares, 25. Speedway just west of N Main, Tucson. Both westbound (rear-end); there is a bike lane in this area; in other words, it wasn’t as though it was a misjudgment of passing room. Continue reading “Tucson police: Driver who killed bicyclist was high”

Woman with DUI history arrested in Mesa fatal collision

Oh yeah, this one:

A woman accused of driving her SUV about 90 mph before colliding with a car stopped at a red light in east Mesa, killing both occupants, was arrested on Monday. Mesa police booked Ingrid I. Morataya, 35, on suspicion of manslaughter and other charges after she was discharged from a Valley hospital…. The driver and the passenger in the car struck by Morataya’s Toyota FJ Cruiser — Guadalupe Madril, 37, and Jason Aguilera, 33 — died instantly of massive injuries from the violent collision, according to court records… Continue reading “Woman with DUI history arrested in Mesa fatal collision”

Murder Weapon?

Murder Weapon? Charges have yet to be filed in the May 18, 2014 double traffic-fatality

Tidbits of information continue to trickle out related to the spate of three wrong way crashes that killed 7 motorists on Phoenix area freeways in three separate crashes in less than a week.

The suspect in the third wreck, Patricia Murphy was apparently drunk at the time, and additionally tested positive for some drugs. The wreckage of the Ford F-150 pickup she was driving is shown at right. Continue reading “Murder Weapon?”

More head-on freeway deaths

This time the wrong-way driver killed two; bringing the death toll for the three incidents in a week to SEVEN in three incidents.

Sun May 18, 2014 ~ 2a: The wrong way pickup driver,  68-year-old Patricia Murphy killed  Michael Ruquet, 25, and his passenger Ashley Adea, 20 both of Mesa. Murphy had a passenger, her 9-year-old grandson; both are expected to survive Continue reading “More head-on freeway deaths”

Second wrong-way driver this week kills 3 more on freeway

So it’s been a bad week for Phoenix/Valley motorists; 5 dead in two head-on freeway collisions. Plus a bunch of serious injuries. Though presumably just a statistical coincidence to have two such fiery crashes in such a short amount of time, it certainly can serve as a reminder of the general dangerousness of traffic.

In the 1st incident on 5/12/2014 shortly after midnight off duty Mesa Police officer Brandon Mendoza; and wrong-way highly intoxicated Raul Silva Corona both died after colliding head-on. [Officer Mendoza’s case was mentioned in Families of slain Arizona officers wait for federal benefit, noting that a $340,000 federal benefit to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty isn’t available under federal benefit rules. Federal rules do not include driving to or from work to be “line of duty”]

In the 2nd incident 5/16/2014 on I-17, dead are; Evan Christian Hendriadi, 50; Jenny Sudjono, 70; and Lioe Kim Tjhiuw, 78. That crash left three others with serious injury (4 counting the wrong-way driver, a man in his 60’s who is suspected of being impaired. [minor UPDATE: police/DPS still haven’t named the driver. I was told on 8/1/2014 this is still the case because the suspect is still in the hospital, and has so far not been charged]

Other Random Motoring Mayhem

Brittany Nolan was charged with 2nd degree murder in connection Continue reading “Second wrong-way driver this week kills 3 more on freeway”