Teen, unborn baby killed after crash sent car onto Phoenix sidewalk

12/26/2019 11:15AM Bell Rd at 35th Ave, Phoenix. The driver of the grey Avenger “was driving west at a high rate of speed and entered the intersection, colliding with the (red) Mustang”, after which he drove up on the sidewalk and killed/injured a bunch of people.  The Mustang driver was attempting to turn left. Police have said they intend to charge the as yet unnamed Avenger driver with manslaughter and aggravated assault. Continue reading “Teen, unborn baby killed after crash sent car onto Phoenix sidewalk”

Little girl seriously hurt on sidewalk as driver jumps curb near Apache Junction

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.

Continue reading “Little girl seriously hurt on sidewalk as driver jumps curb near Apache Junction”

Left Cross Collision

Left-Cross collision. Graphic: cyclingsavvy.org

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.

(This in in contrast to to a hook collision, which involves a turning motorist and a same direction cyclist. ) Continue reading “Left Cross Collision”

Two peds injured on Phx sidewalk

smushed Pickup
smushed Pickup

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.

Continue reading “Two peds injured on Phx sidewalk”

Tucson bicyclist in left-cross collision succumbs

This  showed up on review of the 2015 ASDM data, although I had missed it at the time (odd for a Tucson crash, which are normally very well covered)

Classic Left-cross collision:  westbound Alvernon way at Broadway, Tucson motorist made bad left colliding with eastbound bicyclist traveling in a BL. 7/11/2015 mid-morning. Continue reading “Tucson bicyclist in left-cross collision succumbs”

Bad Drivers and friendsofcalholman.com

Looking North
Looking North

(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?

Update on Van Brakel’s manslaughter sentence

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”.

There a newer update at bad-drivers-and-friendsofcalholman-com — Van Brakel was released somehow in 2014.

 

Who is at fault in a left-turn collision?

A high profile collision involving a school bus turning left at a signal, still under investigation — the news article doesn’t let on who the police believe is responsible for the collision that killed two motorists. The collision occurred in Phoenix at Union Hills Drive, and 12th Street. The speed of the car was reportedly excessive. The bus was turning left, and the car was straight-through; this is a signalized intersection; the news story doesn’t give any indication of the status of the signal. Continue reading “Who is at fault in a left-turn collision?”