FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Phoenix, Arizona 06/09/15 - In August 2007, two members of the Glazer family were killed on Interstate 10 east of Phoenix when a vehicle traveling the opposite direction lost control, crossed the unprotected dirt median and slammed into their car. On that date, Diana, Lindsay and David lost their husband and father (Michael, age 50), and their daughter and sister (Sydney, age 6).
In February 2012, a Maricopa County jury found the State 100% liable for the Glazer accident and awarded the Glazer family $7.8 million in damages. The jury found that the road was dangerous and that the state should have fixed it before their loved ones died. In April 2014, the verdict was upheld by the Arizona Court of Appeals and in May 2015, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld the verdict.
The Glazer family expresses its sincere thanks to the jury and the Arizona court system.
Before the case was tried, the family hired experienced Arizona trial attorneys Christopher Zachar and John Leader to investigate. The results of the investigation were shocking:
- The State designed, built and opened Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson in 1967;
- It was opened with 2 lanes in each direction, with speed limits set at 55 mph and with an average daily traffic (ADT) of 6500 vehicles per day;
- By 2001, the populations of Phoenix and Tucson had exploded, yet Interstate 10 was still only 2 lanes in each direction;
- By that time, the speed limits had increased to 75 mph, with an ADT of nearly 60,000; vehicles per day. Otherwise, ZERO improvements had been made to Interstate 10 during the 40+ year time span;
- In 2001, ADOT held talks regarding an expansion of Interstate 10. In these talks, the ADOT engineers admitted that they knew that Interstate 10 had already exceeded its maximum traffic capacity. Result: Nothing happened. The State chose to do nothing at that time, despite being well aware of the dangers of Interstate 10;
In other words, this stretch of road had become very dangerous. But that was not all:
- In the 3.5 years before the Glazer accident, there had been 11 other crossover collisions resulting in 5 deaths in the same area;
- The State and ADOT knew of these prior accidents, but took no action;
- Despite every one of these accidents being investigated by and reported to the State by its own law enforcement agency, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the State ignored the problems;
- On August 19, 2007, Michael and Sydney Glazer died, and the lives of the Glazer family changed forever;
- Since then, there have been MANY more preventable crossover accidents on Interstate 10:
- In May 2008, two ladies traveling from Tucson were killed in a crossover collision with a semi-truck at the exact same location where Michael and Sydney Glazer died;
- In September 2011, three members of the same family were killed when a semi-truck crossed the unprotected median near Picacho and struck their car, causing it to explode in flames (two other people were seriously hurt in this collision as well);
- In January 2012, a man visiting with his wife from South Dakota was killed when a semi-truck crossed the unprotected median and collided with their car (his wife was seriously injured);
- In March, 2013, a married father of two was killed in a crossover accident near Tucson;
- In March 2014, five members of the same family were killed in a crossover collision near Picacho;
- In October 2014, a 30-year old man and father of 3 on his way to work was killed when a semi-truck cross over the unprotected median and hit his car.
ADOT’s own standards require it to consider median barriers in places that are “prone” to crossover accidents.
Certain locations on I-10, including just outside of Phoenix (on the Gila River Indian reservation) and near Picacho are extremely dangerous and prone to crossover accidents.
In the Glazer case, the State’s own experts admitted that median barriers are relatively low cost and are 95% effective in preventing crossover accidents. The result? The State has done nothing.
In fact, according to ADOT data, it costs around $72,000 to install 1-mile of high quality median cable barrier, meaning:
- ADOT could install median cable barrier on the 100-mile stretch between Tucson and Phoenix for less than it paid in the Glazer case ($7.8 million)
- In 2012, a federal government study concluded that Interstate 10 is dangerous and recommended numerous locations where median barriers should be installed.
The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the jury's finding that Interstate 10 is dangerous and that Arizona had a duty to provide a safety barrier. Arizona’s response? Nothing.
To date, Arizona has not installed median barriers in any dangerous crossover zones.
In the meantime, there are other crossover death cases in the courts. These accidents continue to happen, and people continue to die on Interstate 10.
When will it end? When will Arizona do something? When will the State wake up? How many people have to die before the State takes action?
We had seriously hoped that the Glazer verdict would result in the State finally taking action to stop these crossover accidents. (Again, for the amount of the Glazer verdict, Arizona could have long ago installed a barrier for the entire stretch between Phoenix and Tucson.) Instead, today we continue to wait.
About Zachar Law Firm
Since 1996, Christopher J. Zachar, has provided legal experience to his clients. As an experienced litigator, Mr. Zachar has earned a respected reputation among his peers for the favorable settlements and verdicts we have obtained for our injured clients. Although most personal injury claims do settle out of court, our firm prepares every case to win in front of a jury. Please visit www.ZacharAssociates.com or call (602) 494 – 4800 for more information.