West Valley – a 27-year-old man took his eyes off the road while reaching for his cup of coffee from the center console and slammed his pickup truck into the rear-end of a smaller truck. The force of the impact caused both trucks to roll-over, effectively sending both drivers to the hospital; one by ground ambulance and the other by helicopter.
AZDPS received the report of the two-vehicle injury crash on April 13, 2017, at 6:16 a.m., and state troopers located it eastbound along US 60 at milepost 136.1, which is southeast of Wittmann.
The at-fault driver told authorities that he was headed to work at the time of the crash but first stopped to buy the cup of coffee. He was driving a 1997 Dodge Ram pickup truck. The man was transported for his injuries to Abrazo West Valley Campus hospital.
The other driver, a 53-year-old man, was was traveling eastbound along US 60 in his 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck when he was rear-ended by the Dodge truck. He was flown by helicopter for his injuries to Honor Health John C. Lincoln North Mountain Medical Center.
The Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) is working to help reduce collisions and save lives by bringing more awareness to the cause and effect of all driving behaviors including distracted driving.
Drivers can do more to combat distracted driving and passengers can help drivers:
- Avoid all activities that draw eyes from the road
- Make sure the seatbelt is on and the cell phone is off or in the back seat
- Some phones send an automated message when a person is driving – take advantage of this technology
- Be aware of traffic on the road
- Scan mirrors and blind spots every 5 to 7 seconds
- Pull over and off the road if you need to look at a map, GPS, take a call or check messages
- Finish dressing and grooming before leaving
- Eat food and snacks before or after the trip; not while driving