At approximately 3:08 a.m., troopers responded to a call of a man on the highway in the area of westbound SR202, west of 40th Street. It is a criminal offense for pedestrians to be on the highway which includes the right-of-way adjacent to the road. When they arrived, troopers identified and spoke with a male subject identified as, J. Matthew Gramlich, 43, from Phoenix, who stated he had been involved in a collision near 36th Street and that he was illegally in possession of marijuana. Due to concern for his well-being, troopers requested emergency medical personnel to come to the scene prior to taking any action. As medical arrived on scene, Gramlich bolted from the scene into the westbound traffic lanes of SR202. Troopers chased him across the highway in an attempt to prevent injury to Gramlich and collisions from oncoming traffic. Gramlich jumped the center concrete barricade and ran westbound in the eastbound lanes of traffic. As the troopers continued to chase him, Gramlich stopped and troopers were able to get him onto the emergency lane where they attempted to take him into custody. While in the emergency lane, Gramlich refused to obey orders from the troopers, resisted arrest and ran back into oncoming traffic. As Gramlich was a continuing threat to himself and the motorists traveling on the highway at that time, troopers deployed tasers to subdue and place Gramlich in custody; stopping the risk he posed to himself, the responding troopers and the motorists on the highway. As a routine precaution, Gramlich was transported to the county hospital where he was checked and released to a trooper’s custody. Gramlich was taken and booked into the county jail on the charges of endangerment, obstruction of a highway, and possession of marijuana.
Phoenix police were contacted and they are investigating the report of the collision on 36th Street.
In 2016, from January to December, 29 fatal collisions occurred involving pedestrians on Arizona State Highways, an average of over two pedestrian fatalities occurred per month.