Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officers investigated four (4) separate fatal collisions on state highways this past Labor Day weekend that resulted in the deaths of six (6) people. The collisions should serve as a reminder of how important it is for motorists to practice safe driving habits—especially during the busy times.
With the number of fatal highway crashes in Arizona showing a dramatic increase in recent months, DPS Officers are looking especially hard for motorists not obeying posted speed limits and other moving violations, in addition to seatbelt and child restraint violations. Such violations often lead to the types of devastating fatal collisions seen recently in Arizona. It has always been the goal of DPS to have zero fatal collisions statewide. To help our agency realize this goal, we would like to remind motorists to observe speed limits, ensure proper following distance, wear seatbelts and always check to see if children are properly restrained.
Below is a recap of those four (4) fatal crashes over the weekend.
1. On August 31, 2012, at 9:30 p.m., a six (6) vehicle fatal crash occurred on I-19 at milepost 61. Luis Valles, 40, from Tucson, was driving a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle when he was struck by a Kia passenger car. Mr. Valles was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.
2. At around midnight on September 1, 2012, a single vehicle fatal crash occurred on SR 264 at milepost 333 near Tuba City. Robert Henson, 18, and Bryce Carrigan, 14, from Midland Texas, both died in the collision. Both were passengers in a car that went off of the left side of the roadway. The vehicle eventually rolled over several times. A total of four (4) people were injured in addition to the two fatalities.
3. On September 1, 2012, at 10:45 a.m., a single vehicle fatal crash happened on I-8 at milepost 32, one mile east of Wellton. A 2012 Toyota passenger car left the roadway and struck a tree. Philip Shelton, 21, was driving and Alysssa Cusimano, 19, was his passenger. Both died as a result of the collision.
4. On September 1, 2012, at 1:20 p.m., a single vehicle fatal crash occurred on I-19 at milepost 48 near Sahuarita. The driver lost control of his vehicle following a tire failure and the vehicle struck a tree. The deceased was Nazario Ochoa, 48, of Nogales, Arizona.
Interesting, that three (3) of these crashes in Arizona resulting in five (fatalities), the accidents were single vehicle accidents. Sleepy drivers? Distracted drivers? Drug/alcohol affected drivers? We don’t know the details at this point, but what is clear is that people need to be more careful on the road. The loss of a life affects everyone.
Remember, it is the innocent people that you leave behind that must bear the sorrow for the remainder of their lives.