Maricopa County sheriff’s lieutenant fatally struck while conducting traffic in Scottsdale

driver of vehicle struck/killed officer doing traffic control in Scottsdale

11/10/2021 ~ 10am. What was the driver doing to cause such an obvious and fatal mistake? Authorities have not yet said or speculated. The driver’s name has not been released. Scottsdale PD is investigating. McDowell Road near 87th St.

As I’ve noted before, police work can be dangerous, and traffic is a leading cause of death for law enforcement officers.

This is a pedestrian fatality. Continue reading “Maricopa County sheriff’s lieutenant fatally struck while conducting traffic in Scottsdale”

Police: Driver that killed officer ran red light

Not much remains of this full-sized SUV that was struck by a sedan at a right angle.

5/31/2021 Monday night. Phoenix police officer killed by reported red-light runner Police say the driver of a sedan ran a red light, apparently at extremely high speed, causing an apocalyptic crash with a Phoenix police full-sized SUV at the intersection Cave Creek Road & Greenway Parkway. Both drivers are dead; the sedan driver was identified as “31-year-old Christopher Castro, died at the scene. Police say speed and impairment by Castro are believed to be contributing factors to the crash… The force of the crash caused the officer’s vehicle to crash through a brick wall and into a gas station parking lot.” Continue reading “Police: Driver that killed officer ran red light”

$1.35 Million Settlement in Tempe Police Speeding Wrongful Death Suit

police-speeding without the benefit of lights or sirens, seems to be a routine thing. In this incident from a several years ago:

“[a Tempe Police officer] was travelling at 95 mph in a 45 mph zone without the use of his siren or light bar… five seconds before the crash”

…striking and killing a drunk pedestrian near Baseline and Rural roads who was (I presume) “jaywalking”. The incident occurred in 2005, but a wrongful death lawsuit wasn’t settled until 2010.

Continue reading “$1.35 Million Settlement in Tempe Police Speeding Wrongful Death Suit”

Driver indicted in texting-killing incident

Scene on SR101 where officer was killed

Jerry Sanstead Jr, the driver in this Jan ’19 incident was finally indicted on manslaughter in Dec 2020. That it takes this long to even bring charges speaks volumes about the sorry state of holding drivers responsible for their actions behind the wheel:

DPS: Driver who killed officer was texting and driving

DPS: Driver who killed officer was texting and driving

Scene on SR101 where officer was killed

Law enforcement officers face significant risk of injury and death from traffic incidents; it’s a serious occupational hazard; The leading cause of death for police are … traffic collisions — not shootings or other attacks, and very few of the collisions involve high-speed chases. Just run-of-the-mill crashes where inattentive or otherwise impaired drivers crash into them. Continue reading “DPS: Driver who killed officer was texting and driving”

Glendale officer’s deadly crash costs city $3.8 million

photo: Arizona Republic
photo: Arizona Republic

Yikes. Police officer involved crash resulting in several serious injuries, including a motorist and people walking on the sidewalk.  Anyways, lots of dollars. He was never charged, of course; despite speeding at 30+mph over the speed limit. Continue reading “Glendale officer’s deadly crash costs city $3.8 million”

Crash charge weighed vs. deputy

The aftermath of fatal collision

[ Update mid-June — well the “verdict” is in and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has announced there will be no charges filed. Here is the azcentral news story. I am more aligned with columnist Robert’s thinking; than I am with Montini… though there is still an undeniable appearance of impropriety on County Attorney Montgomery’s part. In summary, Roberts points out that the prosector’s office lets anybody and everybody off the hook (except when impaired); Montini insists it’s simply political. I believe the city of Glendale certainly has enough evidence to charge Pearce with criminal speeding — if they choose to. That would be largely symbolic but would still require the defendant to appear before the court. ] Continue reading “Crash charge weighed vs. deputy”

(still) No charges filed vs. Pinal deputy in 2012 fatal crash

[Updated 12/2013; Deputy fired, see below]

So this is pretty weird situation stemming from a fatal wreck occurring August 2012. I don’t know how any of this is supposed to work — but it occurs to me that County Attorney Voyles could have sent this to a neutral party (another county) for disposition, and that would have avoided any appearance of impropriety. As it stands, Voyles had a clear conflict-of-interest; and he decided it in favor of his interests. Voyles description of the deputy’s actions (‘patrolling’ at ~ 100mph?) as “an acceptable investigating patrolling activity” is quite bold, and troubling. They don’t call it “criminal speeding” (see 28-701.02) for nothing, well I mean reasonable people call it that, I don’t know how Voyles (or the deputy) rationalizes it.   The victim’s (that is to say, the guy that died; the deputy was seriously injured) actions were certainly also negligent — he was very drunk, and made a bad left — but that certainly doesn’t absolve Steele of all responsibility for the collision. In any event, this is going to be very expensive for Pinal county taxpayers. Continue reading “(still) No charges filed vs. Pinal deputy in 2012 fatal crash”

Phoenix police officer dies in fatal hit-and-run

vehicleRaetzHitAndRunFatality[Update: driver sentenced, see below] Although it seems obvious that police work is dangerous because there are bad guys with guns trying to kill them; roughly the same number of  policeman killed in the line of duty die as the result of a traffic collision than by being shot (or stabbed)….

May 19, 2013 ~ 3:30a, Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz was killed while “processing a DUI suspect near 51st and Cambridge avenues when he was struck by a green Ford Expedition, which then fled the scene”. The story doesn’t give much detail, I would assume from what was presented he was a pedestrian, which is consistent with the picture of the SUV that struck Raetz, which police released later. Continue reading “Phoenix police officer dies in fatal hit-and-run”

Some cops REALLY don’t like critical mass

This is one of those sorts of stories you hear but just can’t quite believe until you see the youtube video.
The cop gets indicted. And later on fired/resigned. Pogan fired (or resigned or whatever. the good news is he is no longer in law enforcement). Continue reading “Some cops REALLY don’t like critical mass”