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Driver charged in latest wrong-way Mesa area crash

A woman was arrested for a wrong-way crash on Loop 202 near Gilbert Road in Mesa on July 15. Four other accidents since May had already resulted in five fatalities and injuries to others in this area.

Drivers called 911 and reported that a sedan was driving in the wrong direction in the westbound lanes of Loop 202 shortly before 10:00 p.m. The sedan, driven by a 33-year-old motorist, later collided with a SUV several miles away. The Arizona Department of Public Safety claimed that she drove in the wrong direction for at least five miles on the Red Fountain Freeway portion of Loop 202.

The SUV driver suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital. The DPS arrested the sedan driver on suspicion of aggravated assault and endangerment. According to court records, a drug-recognition expert evaluated the driver after the accident and determined that she was drunk.

In June, state officials responded to several wrong-way accidents by installing larger, lower signs and other devices to warn drivers from entering freeways from the wrong direction. The signs and devices were installed in six locations around the Valley but not in Loop 202. State transportation officials have issued warnings that impairment played a larger role in the wrong-way accidents than confusion.

In May, a motorist drover around 30 miles in the wrong direction and collided head-on into an off-duty Mesa police officer. Both drivers died in this head-on collision. The wrong-way driver had a blood alcohol content that was three times the legal limit.

Additionally, a Mesa resident and his passenger were killed on May 16 after a collision with a wrong-way driver. According to court records, the driver tested positive for benzodiazepine and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.18 percent.

Victims of negligent or impaired drivers and their families should seek advice to determine whether they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages suffered in these car accidents. This guidance will also help determine liability for these crashes and the amount of compensation that should be sought.

Source: The Arizona Republic, “Driver arrested in wrong-way crash on Loop 202 in Mesa,” Corina Vanek, July 16, 2014

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