It's Christmas, and I am pissed. Want to know why?
Two days ago on Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona, yet another motor vehicle crossover crash occurred.
Four more people died.
Only four days before Christmas, countless families were devastated.
I am pissed because this never should have happened. This only happened because of the careless and utterly reckless ignorance by the State of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Transportation.
You see, these crossover crashes on Interstate 10 have been occurring for many years, and there is a simple fix: Cable median barriers.
The State of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Transportation know this. Very well.
The State's own experts have testified under oath: Cable median barriers are 95% effective in stopping crossover crashes.
Further, in a study done years ago of 104 crossover crashes, it was concluded that a cable median barrier would have prevented 103 of them (99.038% effective).
Yet, Arizona and ADOT just continue to ignore the problem, and why is anyone’s guess. They contend (yes, I am not kidding) that cable median barriers make the highway more dangerous.
They are wrong, and they KNOW they are wrong. But, they are not fixing the problem and they have to tell the public something.
Seventy-five to one hundred people have died in Interstate 10 crossover crashes in recent years. Yes, those numbers are right: 75-100 people are dead from crossover crashes on I-10.
In February 2012 a Maricopa County jury sent the State a very strong message, awarding a family $7.8 million dollars in damages for the loss of 2 family members in a crossover crash.
The State did not listen.
Then, in December 2015, a Maricopa County jury sent the State an even stronger message with a $47.6 verdict against the State of Arizona for the SAME THING.
Still, our State officials ignore this problem. And no one knows why.
You see, this crash and the devastation to these families, four days before Christmas, did not have to happen. The State knows this and our State officials could have prevented it.
But, for reasons unknown, they bury their heads in the sand and try to tell us they see no problem here. They are literally dead wrong, and unfortunately (again), more families are now dealing with the grief.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all affected by the tragedy.
Christopher Zachar and John Leader are the Arizona attorneys who have successfully handled these cases against the State of Arizona, and the only attorneys to have successfully won the jury trials against The State of Arizona and Arizona Department of Transportation for wrongful death crossover crashes.