Off Duty Officer Killed in Wrong Way Collision
Off duty Mesa police officer, Brandon Mendoza was killed in a head-on collision caused by a driver who drove more than 30 miles in the wrong way on Valley freeways near the U.S. 60 interchange with Interstate 10.
Collision by Motorist Who Drove the Wrong Way and Failed to Stop
According to Mesa police and the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s spokesman Officer Carrick Cook, the incident began very early morning when DPS officers received a report of a motorist driving the wrong way on Loop 101 near Cactus Road.
The driver continued driving west in the eastbound lanes of Loop 101. The driver then drove south in the northbound lanes of State Route 51, Cook said. When a DPS officer attempted to stop the vehicle on State Route 51 near Thomas Road the driver went around the officer. The driver then continued east in the westbound lanes of Interstate 10. According to Cook, the driver continued going the wrong way as he entered U.S. 60 from I-10 and hit the officer head-on.
Two People Killed in Wrong-Way Collision
Mendoza was on his way home after having completed his shift. The driver was also killed in the head-on collision.
Off Duty Officer Brandon Mendoza Killed in Head-on Collision
Two dozen people waited outside of the Maricopa Medical Center as Mendoza’s body, draped in an American flag, was transported to a waiting car. Officers stood at attention and saluted as he was placed in the van. The van was then escorted by police motorcade as it made its short journey to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Mesa police Chief Frank Milstead called Mendoza an icon in the Mesa Police Department and praised him for his work in the community. “He was everything you want your officers to be: approachable, empathetic, understanding,” he said.
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Source: AZ Central, Off duty Mesa officer killed in wrong way crash on U.S. 60, May 12, 2014
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