Tag Archives: headon

3 killed in fatal SUV crash on SR 89

Fatal head-on near Florence. photo: DPS

There have been a couple of particularly violent & deadly head-on crashes on state routes recently. In both cases, there was no immediate speculation or cause of why the drivers crossed over and drove the wrong way.

In an Aug 30, 2018 incident occurred on a Thursday afternoon when the 47 y.o. male driver of a Ford SUV crossed over and collided head-on with a Suburban. Both drivers were killed as well as a toddler who was a passenger in the suburban. Continue reading 3 killed in fatal SUV crash on SR 89

Massive crash on Phx local street leaves driver dead

mid-day (~2pm) Thursday March 1, 2018.

A driver veered for unknown reasons causing a massive collision leaving that driver dead, and sending several to the hospital. This is on a “local” street, Roeser Rd east of 32nd St, adjacent to a nice park. “Officers are investigating whether speed or impairment were a factor in the crash” abc15 Continue reading Massive crash on Phx local street leaves driver dead

4 dead in I-17 wrong-way crash near Flagstaff

A driver driving the wrong way on the freeway killed all four occupants of the other vehicle. Police have not revealed why they think driver was driving the wrong way, however, they did note that this year

“…DPS arrested 52 people suspected of driving the wrong way… Ultimately, each of the 52 drivers arrested was found to be impaired”.

So, 100% of wrong-way drivers were impaired. Wrong way driving appears to be an impaired driver problem. Continue reading 4 dead in I-17 wrong-way crash near Flagstaff

Wrong-way driver faces homicide charge in death of motorcyclist on I-17

These are the kinds of upgraded gigantic signs that WW drivers must pass to enter freeways.

This past Wednesday (6/28/2017) afternoon, another wrong way fatal crash and another driver is locked up. “Fixing” wrong way driving can most obviously be effected by removing impaired drivers from the road. Proposed, costly, technological gadgets to detect wrong-way can have only limited usefulness. Abc15.com reports that the wrong-way driver “… admitted to drinking before driving and blood tests came back with a blood alcohol level of .160”

Continue reading Wrong-way driver faces homicide charge in death of motorcyclist on I-17

More Wrong-way freeway driving; can detection help?

Some recent news items. Also, be sure to check out the “cold medicine” guy from a few days ago…

These are the kinds of upgraded gigantic signs that WW drivers must pass to enter freeways.

6/6/2017 double-fatality ~8PM, began driving around airport, including through parking structures the wrong way and breaking through the arm/gate: Wrong way driver 56-year-old Ronald Wayne Mollenhauer killed another driver, Young Lee on  a transition ramp between I-10 and SR51. A third driver was injured. Given the ww driver is dead, you probably won’t hear much about this again. Was he impaired by drugs or alcohol, or some other impairment? Most ww drivers are. We’ll have to wait for FARS to find out which will report any chemical testing results. Continue reading More Wrong-way freeway driving; can detection help?

DPS: Wrong-way driver suspected of DUI blamed cold medicine

Cold medicine? maybe, just maybe plain-old drunk. We’ll see. Interesting comment about victim’s rights, and appearing in court

A total of 13 people requested victim’s rights due to the driver using his vehicle as a deadly instrument… During Walker’s initial appearance, one of the alleged victims addressed the judge.
“We were inches from actually crashing into him, and that in itself is an emotional trauma,” the man said. “He’s not safe and he shouldn’t be out in society placing others in danger.”

It’s good to see ordinary people stick up for their rights and hopefully hold dangerous drivers responsible for their actions.


Despite all the hoopla surrounding wrong-way crashes “Wrong-way collisions are not a new phenomenon and statistically remain unchanged year over year in Arizona.”, nevertheless Gov Ducey wants action. It’s nice to focus attention on traffic safety but perhaps attention could be better focused on the vast majority of traffic fatalities and injuries that don’t involve a wrong-way driver? Continue reading DPS: Wrong-way driver suspected of DUI blamed cold medicine

3-year AZ Freeway Fatality Toll

photo: Arizona Dept of Public Safety
photo: Arizona Dept of Public Safety

In a longish piece in AZ Republic Live or die on Phoenix-area freeways: It’s your choice (the print edition was headlined 3-year freeway fatality toll: 207) about (specifically metro-Phoenix area. I think they looked at just Maricopa County) freeway traffic fatalities, it was revealed the fatality rate was 61% higher than national averages, per mile driven. I’m not sure exactly what’s counted; it apparently counts only that part of the state highway system that is fully controlled-access, a.k.a. freeways, and in Maricopa county for the purposes of this series of articles.

The usual suspects were called out: speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, motorcycling in general (helmets), not wearing seatbelts.

Things you won’t hear people say: “I would never get in a car… Drivers are just too dangerous” Continue reading 3-year AZ Freeway Fatality Toll

Wrong-way driver stopped on SR-87

Photos: MCSO and DPS.
Photos: MCSO and DPS.

Driver Barbara Christine McLaughlin was arrested after driving the wrong way on Arizona SR-87 near Bush Highway Thursday afternoon. DPS Trooper Pedro Rodriguez heroically intentionally caused a crash in order to stop McLaughlin’s 5,000 pound pickup; probably doing her a big favor, because people who drive pickups the wrong way tend to kill people and go to prison (for a long time). Oh, and after the minor collision, McLaughlin tried to drive away (hit and run). Nice. “impairment is suspected” DPS says. Continue reading Wrong-way driver stopped on SR-87

Wrong-way driver sentenced to 14 years in death of Phoenix fire dispatcher

photo: Arizona Dept of Public Safety
Stock photo of aftermath of head-on freeway collision. They all look more-or-less the same, so there’s no real need to have one for any particular crash. photo: Arizona Dept of Public Safety

The driver in one of the headon freeway collisions was sentenced in a plea deal to 14 years in prison. Stephen Martin plea guilty to 2nd degree murder for causing the Jan 2015 death of Phoenix dispatcher Megan Lange.  Continue reading Wrong-way driver sentenced to 14 years in death of Phoenix fire dispatcher