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Off-Duty Officer Killed in Crash with Wrong-Way Driver

Tina Robinson3 years ago

Two drivers are dead following a crash on the ramp between I-10 and U.S. 60 in Tempe, AZ. The crash involved an off-duty police officer and a driver of an SUV who was traveling in the wrong direction on the freeway, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

About the Wrong-Way Collision

  • A driver of an SUV was first spotted traveling west in the eastbound lanes of the Loop 101 freeway north of Phoenix.
  • The driver proceeded to travel south along the northbound lanes of Arizona 51 where a DPS officer used his vehicle to divert oncoming traffic.
  • The officer also attempted, unsuccessfully, to ram the SUV to stop the vehicle.
  • The SUV continued until it reached the ramp between I-10 and U.S. 60 where it struck the vehicle of off-duty officer Brandon Mendoza.

Both Mendoza and the driver of the SUV were killed in the resulting head-on collision. Police have not been able to determine the gender, age, or identity of the SUV driver whose body was badly burned from a fire caused by the crash.

Authorities believe the SUV driver was impaired in some way and plan to conduct an autopsy and toxicology test to learn more.

Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts

The Arizona Department of Transportation provides the following statistics and facts about motor vehicle accidents in 2012.

  • Statewide there were a total of 103,637 motor vehicle crashes.
  • Of those crashes, 738 were fatal and resulted in 821 deaths.
  • On average, a person was injured in a motor vehicle-related accident ever 10.54 minutes.
  • Approximately 72.5% of all crashes occurred between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. 

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