According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the blood-alcohol level of the wrong way driver who killed off-duty Mesa police officer was three times the legal limit.
BAC of .08 is Legally Drunk
DPS spokesman, Officer Carrick Cook said driver, Raul Silva-Corona’s blood-alcohol content was .24 percent when he collided with Officer Brandon Mendoza after driving more than 30 miles in the wrong direction. In Arizona, a driver is presumed to be legally drunk at .08 percent. Mendoza had just finished his patrol shift and was on his way home.
Silva-Corona Killed in Wrong Way Collision
Silva-Corona was also killed in the crash. Federal officials also confirmed Silva-Corona was in the country illegally. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said he was a native of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Confusion Amongst Highway Patrol Officers
According to Cook the highway patrol officers had difficulty tracking down Silva-Corona’s SUV because of conflicting information from 911 callers. Records show that at one point a DPS officer slowed traffic on Arizona 51 and tried to ram the SUV near Thomas Road, but Silva-Corona swerved and continued on.
One dispatcher reported the driver was going the wrong way on southbound Loop 101. When an officer asked for clarification, the dispatcher said the SUV was driving northbound in the southbound lanes. But just shortly after, another dispatcher said the driver was going southbound in a northbound lane.
“Wait a minute, I’m a little confused,” an officer said. “Is it still in Metro East or has it made its way through central and over on Metro West?”
Another officer also asked for clarity: “Some confusion on what’s being called and what’s being broadcast. Is it SB on 51 now?”
The dispatcher had to rely on cameras from the Arizona Department of Transportation to direct officers. Unfortunately, both the cameras and responding officers lost sight of Silva-Corona when he approached where SR 51 connects with Interstate 10. The head-on collision occurred on a ramp linking U.S. 60 to I-10.
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