MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.—A tragic two-vehicle accident on Loop 202 left three dead and five critically injured on Jan. 1 in Ahwatukee.
The victims include 45-year-old Juan Carlos Gaspar, his wife, 45-year-old Selma Gaspar, and their 12-year-old son, Carlos Gaspar.
Witnesses to the accident told state troopers that a 2016 Ford Fusion was traveling recklessly at a high rate of speed on Loop 202 before colliding with the rear end of a 2013 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Juan Carlos Gaspar.
The impact caused the Ford to spin, roll, and come to rest in the Loop 202 lanes near 40th Street. The Chevrolet rolled off the roadway and down an embankment, during which four of its six occupants were ejected.
The three Gaspar family members were pronounced dead at the accident scene.
One person reportedly had to be extracted from a vehicle. In total, five people were transported to a local hospital with injuries that appeared to be life-threatening.
During their investigation, law enforcement arrested the driver of the Ford, 23-year-old Ariyan Gay, on suspicion of three counts of manslaughter and four counts of aggravated assault. He reportedly admitted to consuming alcohol while driving and had open containers of beer and whiskey in his car at the time of the accident.
No additional information about the ongoing crash investigation has been released.
Commentary on The Rollover Accident on Loop 202 In Phoenix, Arizona
This accident is nothing short of egregious, and I am deeply saddened to learn of the multiple deaths and injuries caused by this senseless act of negligence. The willful and reckless behavior of Ariyan Gay has cost the Gaspar family unspeakable pain. I offer my condolences to those left behind and hope the injured can make a full recovery.
Many folks will look at this accident and feel sorry that this family was the unfortunate victim of another man’s negligence. However, the extent of this accident goes beyond the man himself and raises issues on the crashworthiness of the vehicle in question. The number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from this crash is alarming. Auto manufactures must manufacture crash-worthy vehicles. This duty requires the production of vehicles that can withstand the impacts of foreseeable accidents. Given the propensity of rollover crashes in SUV vehicles, manufacturers are well aware of the need to produce vehicles that can withstand such impact. In this vehicle specifically, the NHTSA projected a rollover risk of 23.7%. A thorough analysis of the vehicle will need to be conducted to determine whether this vehicle provided sufficient protection to the Gaspar family.
Again, I offer my condolences to all impacted by this horrendous accident and hope for your solace during this unimaginable time of grief.
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