Raul Meza Portillo was arrested in connection with last night's fatal hit and run crash at Mill/Baseline. Portillo struck the victim who was on a bike and dragged her several hundred feet before leaving the scene. Impairment may be a factor. He is facing 2 felony charges. pic.twitter.com/qHuR2xfxuS
Crash Friday evening around 7:30PM, 4/2/2021. Tempe police say a driver of a pickup towing a trailer made a left northbound Mill turning onto westbound Baseline collided with a 41 y.o. female bicycle. She was dragged to her death, and the driver fled the scene. Police arrested a suspect, Raul Meza Portillo, around 1AM at his home. That he was held on suspicion of 2nd degree murder, as well as leaving the scene indicate police believe he both was intoxicated at the time, and caused the crash.
I became curious about this because it happens to be very close to where I live, and I happened to notice the roadside memorial and wondered about all the carnage; it’s just off of Ray Road, right by the Melting Pot (Fry’s food strip mall); it was about three years ago now…
01/02/2018 Fatal collision; police say a driver of a vehicle turning left failed to yield to a going-straight motorcyclist, and now the motorcyclist is dead. In bicyclist crash jargon we would call this a left-cross crashtype; it’s particularly deadly for motorcyclists.
Goodyear police are investigating a 9/12/2019 crash that occurred around 6:30 involving 3 cyclists transported with injuries, and a fourth who was not transported. The news-chopper footage shows a black sedan, as well as a large number of additional cyclists who were presumably riding together in a group but were not directly involved in the crash. 12news.comazcentralContinue reading “Multi-bicycle crash in Goodyear”
5/20/2018, 743am. Ellsworth and Broadway. A little girl and her mother became collateral damage after two drivers collided, one vehicle began spinning and “jumped the curb of the southwest corner of the intersection (two pedestrians), who were standing on the sidewalk”.
One driver was attempting to turn left, the other going straight (a “left cross”); who caused the wreck? Police are still investigating, it’s not clear which of the two drivers caused it; what is clear is that one or the other or both drivers caused a crash that seriously injured the little girl, and caused minor injuries to her mother who were on the sidewalk at the time.
A Cross-type Bike-MV collision occurs when a bicyclist and motorist who are traveling in opposing directions collide while the motorist is making a turn. If both are traveling in proper direction, it would be a left cross; as illustrated between the blue vehicle and the bicyclist in the illustration. For a counter-flow bicyclist, a right-cross can occur.
3/3/2016 Two peds on the sidewalk were injured after two motor vehicles collided in the of 7th Ave and Jefferson. This is one of Phoenix’s many, massively wide arterial-arterial intersections where any error can easily, and often does, result in mayhem. In this case, the two pedestrians and one of the MV drivers were fortunate to escape with only non-life-threatening injuries.
Vision Zero anyone? There are over 100,000 MV crashes per year in Arizona, resulting in many thousands of incapacitating injuries, and nearly 1,000 fatalities; victims are drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Each year… and the trend recently is up.
This appears to be highly typical mode of motorcyclist fatality
A motorist makes a bad left at intersection, striking oncoming motorcyclist.
Had this been a bicyclist-MV collision, it would be a crash type 212 – Motorist Left Turn—Opposite Direction, commonly called a “left hook”. This is a relatively uncommon fatal crash type, just 12 of 617 bicyclist fatalities nationwide in 2010 according to FARS. One supposes that the relative speeds involved make this far more likely to be deadly for motorcyclists than for bicyclists.
One wonders how the police handle such cases; from the description, it appears the motorist should be cited for 28-772 making a bad left, and charged with 28-672. since a death resulted.
By Yihyun Jeong
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:03 PM
A motorcyclist died after a car tried to make a left turn in front of the motorcyclist at Cave Creek Road and Union Hills Drive in Phoenix Wednesday, officials said. Police responded to a serious injury collision at the intersection of Cave Creek Road and Union Hills Drive around 4 p.m., Sgt. Steve Martos, a spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department said. Police were told that a motorcyclist was down and his motorcycle was on fire. The motorcyclist, Angelo Wright, 20, was taken to a nearby hospital where he died of injuries, Martos said. The police department’s Vehicular Crimes Unit responded to the scene and determined that an 84-year-old female driver of a Volkswagen Rabbit, was heading east on Union Hills and tried to make a left turn at Cave Creek Road to travel north, Martos said. The driver failed to yield to Wright, who was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and collided with him. Wright was not wearing a helmet.
Was the driver cited and/or charged? Dunno. Would have to get police report and get driver’s name, since police didn’t say, and then do a lookup.
(motorist) Cal Holman was killed in a horrific traffic collision in 2007 involving very high speeds and alleged street racing. Going on 5 years later a lot has and continues to happen, the two other drivers, Van Brakel and Aronica, have eventually plead guilty to certain crimes, Van Brakel going to prison for manslaughter. Aronica received probation, and subsequently requested it be reduced, but that apparently was denied.
The site friendsofcalholman.com is doing, and has done an excellent job of making court documents available; such as the plea agreements. Van Brakel’s 5 year sentence was reduced to below 3 years actual both by the 1 day for every 7 served (that’s normal; it where the “85%” figure comes from); but also apparently because of “over 2 years credit because he was out on bail while the criminal hearings were going on“. How does that work? Being out on bail somehow counts as the same as being incarcerated? [see suggestion in comment below that this may have been erroneously calculated] This is criminal case CR2008-031157 (minutes) (which i could only find by searching Maricopa County Superior directly) — and here is Van Brakel’s (who is Party 001) 9/16/2011 sentencing minute “5 year(s) from 09/16/2011; Presentence Incarceration Credit: 487 day(s); Presumptive”. Note that this is “non-dangerous” manslaughter — sick joke. p.s. the way sentencing math works apparently is: 85% (assuming he got the most time off) of 5 years is 1551 days minus the 487 leaves 1064 (just under 3 years).
Van Brakel’s pre-sentence credit of 487 days was due to him being incarcerated immediately (i guess) after his initial sentencing in 2010.
Here is Aronica’s 5/18/2010 sentencing minute of probation; pleading guilty to two counts of endangerment which is, like Van Brakel’s manslaughter, designated as a “non-dangerous” crime.
On a larger scope, they have exposed these two men’s driving history; again something we rarely get to see. According to friendsofcalholman the two,
Van Brakel was driving an AMG Mercedes, after hitting Cal Holman his car continued 75 feet past the intersection. Van Brakel hit first on the passenger side. He did not sustain any injuries in the crash… Since 2004 there have been 7 tickets for various moving violations. Driving 55 in a 35 zone, 67 in a 40 zone, and failing to yield in a cross walk are a sample of his driving record… Van Brakel has several previous driving violations. One ticket in 2004, was for doing 120 miles per hour in a 75 miles per hour zone. [link]
and the other:
Aronica’s Mustang flipped on impact and landed in the ditch on the side of Scottsdale … Aronica was injured with a broken arm and his passenger had minor cuts…. Since 2002 Aronica has had 13 citations. On December 3rd, less than four weeks prior to the accident where he hit and killed Cal Holman, he was cited for doing 88 miles per hour in a 60 miles per hour zone. This was in Texas while he was traveling to Arizona… Other citations include speeding. In Virginia speeding 84 in a 65 zone, in Florida traveling 20-29 miles per hour over the posted speed, again in Virginia speeding 79 in a 65 zone, in Maryland he had four speeding violations, and in Michigan he has 3 violations for speeding including a careless driving and a 78 in a 55 zone. [link]
This really makes me wonder how such repeated dangerous driving behavior can be tolerated — why weren’t their licenses suspended or revoked before they killed somebody? Traffic collisions, even after a marked decline, continue to be a leading cause of death for Americans. Who’s minding the store?
There is an update to the who-is-at-fault-in-a-left-turn-collision story from 2007 where former state representative Cal Holman was killed while making a left turn at an intersection and was struck by two motorists who were criminally-speeding, and appeared to be racing.
One motorist, Travis Aronica, plead to endangerment and got probabtion.
The other motorist, Robert Van Brakel, was found guilty of manslaughter and received a five year sentence (which seems light to me, i thought the presumptive for manslaughter is 10.5 years?). Van Brakel (who i presume, is currently imprisoned?) won a review of his sentence by a different judge, claiming improprieties by the sentencing judge. He is scheduled to be re-sentenced “from scratch” by a different judge; because of re-sentencing rules it is extremely unlikely he would draw more than the original 5 years. This is currently scheduled for 8/12/2011.
As Laurie Roberts put it in her July 27, 2011 column “One of the racers gets probation. The other gets five years in prison. Really, that’s what they got… Both men had lousy driving records and both were charged with manslaughter.”
You can also read about the case at friendsofcalholman.com , but be careful because reading that is what got Judge Ryan “in trouble”.