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 Dead in Wrong Way Wreck I-17 Phoenix

photo: DPS

4/14/2017 ~ 2am. A male wrong-way driver collided headon on the I-17 freeway near Greenway in Phoenix with a vehicle carrying two sisters. All are dead.

The wrong way driver had been traveling for (at least) several miles the wrong way. Continue reading “3 Dead in Wrong Way Wreck I-17 Phoenix”

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”

Tucson area motorist killed in head-on; driver arrested

Ann Day was killed in a headon crash with a suspected impaired driver, ~ 8AM, May 7, 2016. Day was traveling eastbound on Ina Road near the Westward Look Resort,  near Tucson (Pima County)




Continue reading “Tucson area motorist killed in head-on; driver arrested”

Speeding, extremely Drunk, red-running killer nets 11 years

Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

The original story about this Dec. 27, 2014 death has a long list of horribles, emphasis added:

Preliminary test results indicated that Erica Flynn’s blood-alcohol level was .283, more than three times the legal limit, after the crash that killed 66-year-old Kathleen Mae Searcy on Dec. 27, the records show.

Flynn, 30, was southbound on Arizona Avenue in a Toyota Camry when she ran a red light and struck Searcy’s Honda Accord, which was making a left turn on a green arrow at the San Tan Freeway, records show.

Data from Flynn’s vehicle indicated she was driving at a speed of 75 mph – 30 miles over the posted speed limit – and did not brake prior to impact, according to police.

Interesting note about the black box data… there was a warrant issued 12/29/2014 that I would guess was for that. Continue reading “Speeding, extremely Drunk, red-running killer nets 11 years”

Ahwatukee traffic fatality is apparent suicide


3/12/2016 7:30pm. Police describe the single-vehicle collision as an apparent suicide by the driver. 48th Street, just west of Elliot Rd, Phoenix. (that’s “Biscuit’s” yellow sign in the background)… Continue reading “Ahwatukee traffic fatality is apparent suicide”

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”

Arizona Motor Vehicle Fatalities increase in 2015

Preliminary data from ADOT shows a notable increase in traffic fatalities in 2015. At present the preliminary toll is 891 for 2015 — but is expected to rise as final reports trickle in — compared to 773 deaths in 2014. That would be a 15% increase.

There is no, not even a preliminary, breakdown by person type (driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, etc)… which seems odd. VERY preliminary bicyclist traffic fatality data for 2015 can be found at fatality-grid; but those numbers (presently 18 bicyclists) are guaranteed to be low because ADOT hoards the data for themselves, so it’s just whatever I came across in newspapers and word-of-mouth.

Also see report-phx-metro-freeway-crashes-dramatically-increase-in-2015 from a couple of weeks ago ; which noted that the number of crashes on Maricopa county freeways had increase even more dramatically, 23%, year-over-year.

Continue reading “Arizona Motor Vehicle Fatalities increase in 2015”

ASU student dies in Tempe road-rage shooting

photo: Tempe Police
photo: Tempe Police

Shooting update: Female driver shot by another female driver after a traffic collision. Injured driver collided w a 3rd car injuring 5 passengers Continue reading “ASU student dies in Tempe road-rage shooting”

Drunk driver gets 14 years for Chandler officer’s death

Original story.

This was both DUI and hit-and-run; it also involved a minor passenger. Driver sentenced in a plea deal to 14 years prison / 7 years probation for 2nd degree murder + the hit-and-run (other charges? e.g. no license, minor involvement?). The case minute for sentence is here. View all case minutes for CR2014152207. Continue reading “Drunk driver gets 14 years for Chandler officer’s death”

MCSO: Impaired, speeding driver kills 2 in Avondale

Two people were killed in a crash early Sunday morning near Avondale Boulevard and Maricopa 85. (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Not much left (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

Weekend roundup of drivers behaving badly in the Phoenix metro area; it must have been a rough Saturday night, 4 dead in 3 incidents early AM hours of Sunday 11/8/2015: Police say a speeding & impaired driver rear ended and killed 2 motorists in Avondale. Phoenix police says a pedestrian is dead after apparently intentionally stepping in front of a moving car — the driver, of course, hit-and-ran, police caught him soon after and say he appeared impaired. In the third story a driver crossed over and struck another vehicle head on; killing her. Continue reading “MCSO: Impaired, speeding driver kills 2 in Avondale”

Truck driver get 1 year for fatal muscle relaxer crash

wreckage of Mercedes SUV (Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)

The original story is below. Plea deal dropped the manslaughter and two aggravated assault charges (these are *very* serious felonies, F2 & 3) in exchange for a guilty plea to endangerment (a *very* minor felony, F6). Exactly how the prosecutor cooks up these deals is unknown but it seems hard to understand how this is, if not reckless manslaughter, at least negligent homicide. Continue reading “Truck driver get 1 year for fatal muscle relaxer crash”

Wrong way August I-17 pickup driver

For much more on dangerous, impaired (mentally, disoriented, or via chemicals/alcohol) see wrong-way. They drive among us. One of my fears is the incidents are being treated as though the problem is with not enough signs on freeway. These are dangerous, criminal in most cases, drivers who are out driving around, who can (and do) cause all sorts of mayhem.

News story about the aftermath of Aug 22, 2015 wrong-way pickup truck driver, 48-year-old Timothy Harjo of Wickenburg. Was driving ~ 70mph north in the southbound lanes of I-17 around 5:45am ~ 12 mile from Sunset Point. DPS Trooper Jeremy Barr acted heroically to essentially crash into the perpetrator, averting what could easily resulted in a major disaster. Continue reading “Wrong way August I-17 pickup driver”