1 Woman Killed And 2 Injured As Drunk Driver Runs Stop Sign

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An accident that occurred on Thursday night in Laveen is under investigation by detectives and according to them, the reason of the accident was alcohol.

1 woman died and 2 men sustained injuries when a car and a minivan collided at 51st Avenue and Estrella Drive, about 2 miles south of Dobbins Road. The incident happened around 2 a.m.

Aerial video from Chopper 3 showed that both vehicles stopped in the dirt off the roadway.

According to the police, the minivan was travelling northbound on 51st Avenue and a Crown Victoria was travelling west on Estrella Drive.

Investigators were told by witnesses that the car blew through a stop sign and T-boned the minivan.

Lt. Brandon Jones of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said, “Nobody in the cars was wearing seat belts”. Jones said the collision “disintegrated or ripped apart the passenger side of the vehicle”.

44-year-old Elizabeth Valenzuela, was in the passenger seat. She was ejected from the minivan.

Jones told, “She and the van slid against a canal embankment where the van then landed on top of her”.

Valenzuela was pronounced dead at the accident spot.

The man who was driving the minivan was alert and conscious when emergency crews approached the accident spot. He and the driver of the Crown Victoria, identified as 55-year-old Michael Cherney, were rushed to local hospitals.

Investigators are trying to piece together the moments leading up to the accident.

Jones said, “We do know that alcohol is a factor in this. We know that the suspect, currently at the hospital, tending to his wounds, is probably going to be facing some serious charges here. There was an alcohol container found in his vehicle — half empty. He was 0.2 blood alcohol content at the hospital”.

The legal threshold to be considered intoxicated is a BAC of 0.08 percent or more within two hours of driving. A BAC more than 0.15 percent is consider Extreme DUI under Arizona law, while 0.2 percent or higher is Super Extreme DUI. At BAC level 0.02 percent, the thinking ability of the individual is affected. There is also the possibility of losing consciousness and experiencing memory blackout.

Jones told that the investigators also found marijuana in Cherney’s Crown Victoria.

Phoenix police shut down 51st Avenue at Carver Road, which is north of Estrella Drive, while they performed the investigation. The area was still blocked off at 9:30 a.m.

Drivers using 51st Avenue to go around the west side South Mountain into Phoenix used Interstate 10 instead while Phoenix police were first on the scene. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.

News Source: www.AZFamily.com

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