In light of three fatal wrong-way collisions that occurred within a week’s time, Arizona law enforcement and transportation officials have decided to hold an emergency meeting to discuss how to deal with the problem.
Seven People Killed in Wrong-Way Collisions
The three fatal crashes caused by wrong-way drivers have claimed the lines of seven people – including an off-duty police officer. The string of accidents is a tragic coincidence that even law enforcement officers and investigators are struggling to deal with, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Raul Garcia. “This past week and a half has weighed heavy with everyone involved,” Garcia said.
In two of the accidents, multiple patrol vehicles and officers have scrambled to stop the wrong-way drivers. Officer Carrick Cook, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said, authorities try to intercept wrong-way drivers with stop sticks or by ramming their vehicles. He went on to say, “There is no existing protocol that would be outside of just trying to get ahead of the vehicle.” In these two cases impairment has not been ruled out.
Brandon Mendoza Killed by Wrong-Way Drunk Driver Collision
A drunk driver with a blood-alcohol content of 0.24% - more than triple the legal limit, caused the third accident that killed off-duty Police Officer Brandon Mendoza.
Wrong-way Collisions Occur Late Night and Early Hours
Most wrong-way incidents usually take place in the late night or early morning hours, Garcia said. Staying off the roads during those hours is one way to decrease the chance of a wrong-way encounter, he said.
In 2012, the federal National Transportation Safety Board recommended every state require convicted drunken drivers to use ignition interlock devices. This device usually requires drivers blow into a tube to prove they are not intoxicated before they are able to start the engine. The agency made this recommendation after reviewing evidence that showed an average of 360 people a year are killed when drivers turn the wrong way into oncoming traffic on highways.
If you’ve suffered from a motor vehicle accident, you need the expert advice of motor vehicle accident attorneys such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.