A 31 year old man has become the first traffic fatality on the new section of freeway that opened in late December, just a couple of weeks ago. DPS reports that 31-year-old Josafath Rubio-Hernandez died while driving the wrong way on the freeway near Elliot Road and collided head-on with a semi-truck.
Police said they are still investigating if the driver was impaired. Most wrong-way drivers involved in fatal collisions are impaired (thought to be around 75%)
The quick synopsis was in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday 1971 a very drunk driver at .251 BAC killed 3 people and left a 4th person in a permanent vegetative state. He was portrayed as being not particularly remorseful. He ultimately served 6 months of a 1 year sentence for a guilty plea to misdemeanor manslaughter. Continue reading “The drunken crash that led to tougher Arizona DUI law”
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”
9/2/2017 Monday evening ~ 8PM. Police say impairment may be involved. Southern near Hardy. Two motorists died and a third is in critical condition.
Southern is one of Tempe’s series/network of high-speed arterial roads. High speeds are conducive to death. Pedestrians and Bicyclist do often become collateral damage, but motorists are the most frequent victims. Continue reading “2 Dead 1 Critical in Tempe Wreck”
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”.
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”
Some recent news items. Also, be sure to check out the “cold medicine” guy from a few days ago…
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?”
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.
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.