SE Valley bleed sheet 8/31 edition

From last week’s roundup of traffic mayhem in the southeast Valley:

8/31/2020 around 8pm BE ON THE LOOKOUT Suspect vehicle left scene described as dark SUV towing 10-12 ft. flatbed trailer, contact Chandler PD near Chandler Blvd and McQueen fatal ped hit-run:

Continue reading “SE Valley bleed sheet 8/31 edition”

Ahwatukee gunbattle

For the Ahwatukee archives: April 2019 high speed chase ending in a five-vehicle  crash and ensuing gunbattle; one federal agent’s truck careened over the curb and crashed through a wall.

Not exactly usual traffic but certainly not all that unusual — drivers jumping curbs, smashing lightposts, walls, killing joggers, etc. on a routine basis.

We see now, a year later, the now dead driver was severely impaired by drugs: “Only later, after an autopsy and toxicology report, was it revealed that she had near-fatal levels of methamphetamine in her body, which could have explained much of her [erratic] driving behavior…’The effect of methamphetamine would be related to increased risk-taking behavior, more aggressive behavior, potentially erratic driving,’ said Stripp, a forensic toxicologist … ‘They may speed, they may run red lights.'”

Continue reading “Ahwatukee gunbattle”

Drag racer convicted in fatal Ahwatukee crash

[by the way, this is just another incident where a driver drove up over the sidewalk. In this instance “only” a motorist was killed but obviously anyone on the sidewalk would have killed or seriously injured]

This is a historical/archive incident occurring nearly two decades ago… involving very fast driving as well as DUI, that as a result a Domino’s pizza delivery driver was killed. The claim that the delivery driver was at fault, he emerged from a driveway, for causing the crash did not prevent the fast & drinking driver from being convicted at jury trial of 2nd Degree Murder (and also hit-and-run).

July 4, 2001 just after midnight. Warner-Elliot, just S of Equestrian, Phoenix (Ahwatukee)

The crash involved 3 vehicles,  a third driver: Weston Doyle, 17 of yellow mustang was allegedly drag racing Sucharew. Dolye lost control but didn’t hit either of the other cars and crashed into a block wall. Sucharew was charged with 2nd degree homicide and leaving the scene (hiding in a yard!), was driving a white eclipse and the victim was driving a red Mitsubishi. story lead section B on 7/5/2001. Traveling between 70 and 80mph… “Alcohol was believed to be involved, but a driving-under-the-influence charge will not be filed because of the homicide charge, police said” Continue reading “Drag racer convicted in fatal Ahwatukee crash”

Driver dies in wrong-way crash on new Freeway

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%)

Continue reading “Driver dies in wrong-way crash on new Freeway”

Driver who killed Ann Day gets less than 5 years

Ann Day is a prominent member of a prominent Pima county family; a former County Supervisor, and was the sister of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’connor.

Something is rotten in Pima County. It seems to me cases with very similar fact-sets (extreme speed and recklessness, DUI, causing headon) routinely go for manslaughter elsewhere. Continue reading “Driver who killed Ann Day gets less than 5 years”

The drunken crash that led to tougher Arizona DUI law

DUI driver killed (at least) 3.

The Arizona Republic has been running a series of throwback stories from the files of report Don Bolles who was murdered in 1976, presumably related to mob investigations he was conducting.

This one, unrelated to mob, popped up this week Don Bolles files: The drunken crash that led to tougher Arizona DUI law

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”

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”

Driver arrested: deadly 5-vehicle crash on I-10 near Wild Horse Pass

local story huge backup two dead mom/driver arrested on suspicion of

  • (2) Counts of MURDER 2ND DEGREE
  • (1) Count of AGG DUI-PASSENGER UNDER 15
  • (9) Counts of ENDANGERMENT

Saturday 10/21/2017 evening around 9PM. I-10 near Wild Horse Pass Blvd, just south of Ahwatukee /Chandler.

Are we safe yet?
Would more enforcement help?
Would wrong-way freeway detection have prevented this tragedy?

Answers: No, Probably, and No.

Continue reading “Driver arrested: deadly 5-vehicle crash on I-10 near Wild Horse Pass”

2 Dead 1 Critical in Tempe Wreck

Photo: Megan Janetsky/The Republic

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”

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”

Report: Wrong-way driver who killed 3 very high BAC level

photo: DPS

“Keaton Allison, 21, had a BAC level of 0.25 percent, according to blood-testing results from the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner.” — azcentral

see more at 3-dead-in-wrong-way-wreck-i-17-phoenix Continue reading “Report: Wrong-way driver who killed 3 very high BAC level”

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”