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Worst Arizona Vehicle Accidents of 2014

1. Drugged Trucker Causes Accident that Kills One and Injures Several

Tractor-trailer truckers often experience muscle spasms from sitting in one position for several hours at a time.  These muscle spasms often lead truckers to take muscle relaxers, such as Soma. Driving such heavy machinery with this medication in their blood often ends in tragedy.

So is the tale of 54 year-old, Brian Knoll, who caused a massive accident on November 20, 2014.  Knoll took a Soma the night before the accident.  The next morning, he fell asleep at the wheel, drifted through three lanes of traffic, and rear-ended 22 year-old, Paul Troupe’s ’08 Mercedes sedan, killing him and injuring his widow, Sarah Troupe. Then, Troupe’s car struck Emmanuel Soto’s Chevy pick-up, which led to Soto rolling his vehicle. Like a domino, Soto’s truck hit Susan Williams’ Hyundaia sedan, injuring Ms. Williams.  Finally, Ms. Williams’ sedan struck Hanaa Bashir’s Toyota sedan, which left her seeking medical attention.  This single accident injured five people and killed one.

2. Negligent driver kills Motorcyclist Teacher

Everyone has read the signs, “Start Seeing Motorcycles.”  However, motorcycle accidents still occur far too frequently.  Naturally, people driving larger vehicles often do not look out for motorcycles, and bikers often pay the ultimate price with their lives.

Such is the case of 42 year-old teacher, Marcus Reid.  Mr. Reid left work at Sun Valley High School on his motorcycle, never to return home.  A driver in a large van did not see the beloved technology teacher on his bike and delivered a fatal strike.  Mr. Reid touched the lives of so many students who, now, bear an invisible, but permanent scar of unamendable loss.

3. Young, Drunk Driving Damages Many

Young, inexperienced drivers tend to be accident-prone.  Likewise, drunk drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year.  A recipe for disaster involves teen drunk drivers.

One of the year’s worst accidents occurred in Lake Pleasant on October 18, 2014, when a group of drunken teenagers left a party.  Four girls jumped in the back of their friend’s pick-up to dance the night away. There were six people in the cab of the truck and a total of five people in the truck’s bed. In their drunken fog, they did not realize that their friend driving the truck mistakenly tried to pass a jeep when a car was approaching in the opposite lane.

When all was said and done, thirteen people were injured, and one person died due to youthful, drunken, inexperience behind the wheel.  It turns out that the party at the lake wasn’t so pleasant, after all.

4. Speeding Auto Accident Claims the Lives of a Family

Many people have approached a yellow light, then gunned it to avoid stopping at a red light. While speeding may seem like a harmless, minuscule crime, it became the deadly crime that took the lives of two men and injured a 22 month-old boy and his mother.

On November 26, 2014, 50 year-old Dakota Fernandez went out in his Jeep with his wife and son in tow.  He ran a red light and collided with a pick-up truck, driven by Justin Tharp.  Fernandez faced his demise as a result of his impatience, while also killing Tharp and injuring his wife and toddler son in the vehicle accident.  Momma was right; patience is a virtue.

This list of the worst Arizona vehicle accidents in 2014 serves as a memorial to those lost to the road, as well as a learning tool.  Learn from the mistakes of the fallen, so that they may not die in vain.  Please refrain from speeding and intoxicated driving, and keep those your love as well as other drivers on the road safe.

The good news is that – when drivers break the law or make the unwise decision to drive while intoxicated and leave victims in physical, emotional, and/or financial pain – the victims of these Arizona vehicle accidents do have people in their corner.

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