Separate Phoenix-area accidents kill two motorists over the weekend

Separate Phoenix-area accidents kill two motorists over the weekendAfter two accidents claimed the lives of two people in collisions across the Phoenix area, investigators are looking into the causes of the fatal crashes, ABC affiliate News 15 reports.

According to the media outlet, Phoenix police Sergeant Trent Crump is leading an investigation into an accident involving a motorcycle and an SUV. Crump stated that the crash occurred in the westbound lanes of Southern Avenue near 11th Avenue on Saturday, November 5.

Police reports show that a sport utility vehicle allegedly made a left turn onto Southern Avenue, but failed to yield to a motorcycle that was traveling in the same direction. Crump stated that the motorcyclist, after allegedly being struck by the SUV, then crashed into a “fixed object,” throwing him from his bike.

Although the rider was wearing a helmet, investigators say it came off during the crash. First responders rushed the motorcycle rider to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead by medical officials.

Initial reports show that the motorcyclist, an adult male whose identity has not yet been released, was not impaired while operating the vehicle. The driver of the SUV, an adult female, did not suffer any injuries in the accident, and remained at the scene during investigation of the crash. Police say she also did not show any signs of impairment.

According to the the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were a total of 2,810 motorcycle accidents across the state in 2010, comprising 1.39 percent of all crashes. Of these motorcycle accidents, 97 resulted in the death of 86 people, and injured another 2,390 people.

Investigations into these crashes led police to find that more than 85 percent of the accidents, or 2,412 incidents, did not involve impairment, as was seen in the latest Phoenix crash.

On the same weekend, a second crash led police to shut down the intersection of Grand Avenue and Indian School Road for hours after an accident killed the adult male driver of a small vehicle, the media outlet stated.

Sergeant Crump told the news source that the collision, which involved the small car and a larger van, occurred after the van allegedly made a left turn without yielding to the smaller car. After striking the car, the van then hit another vehicle that was at rest on 39th Avenue.

The driver of the smaller car, whose identity has not yet been released pending contact with the victim’s family, was rushed to an area hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

According to the news source, police investigating the accident believe the deceased driver may have been participating in an illegal drag race that was taking place through town streets. Excessive speed has been included as a factor in the crash. Now, police are also investigating whether the driver was under the influence of any substance, as suspicion of impairment has been reported.

Once the investigation is completed, charges will likely be filed against the driver’s estate, according to the news provider.

The Arizona Department of Transportation states that driving too fast for conditions is the most common driver violation, and is linked to the highest number of crashes.

In total, 33,939 crashes were determined to be the result of speeding in 2010, comprising 16.81 percent of all traffic accidents.

Statewide, there were a total of 106,177 traffic crashes in 2010, which led to the death of 698 motorists and another 33,195 injuries.