Witnesses describe efforts to stop wrong-way driver - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Witnesses describe efforts to stop wrong-way driver

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - New developments tonight in the tragic death of a Mesa Police Officer who was killed in a head-on crash by a wrong-way driver.

Both men died in the crash, authorities identifying the driver and remember their fellow officer.

Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency
Caller: "yeah there's somebody going the wrong way on the 51,
Caller: I just passed Bell. There's somebody going the wrong way probably going 90 miles per hour".

Dozens of drivers made 911 calls after they saw a driver going the wrong way on valley freeways early Monday morning.

Rosalba Maciel was one of them, she was coming home from work when the car passed on on SR51 near McDowell.

"I said he's going to hit somebody, he's going to kill somebody, he was driving really fast, nothing in his way will stop him," said Rosalba Maciel.
Scott Randza also called 911 after he says the car almost hit him on SR51 at Northern.

"I think he was going 80 plus, it was very fast, and he didn't even flinch. He didn't try to hit the brakes, nothing, it was like he aimed straight for me and I swerved as fast as I could," said Scott Randza.
"Yeah there was headlights on my side of the road," said Bob Boers.
The car later passed Bob Boers at I-10 and the 32nd Street overpass, he called and was told 9 DPS officers were already after the driver.

"The highway patrol officers were going a lot faster than he was on the other side of the road, I'm thinking... how are they going to get ahold of him, how are they going to stop him," said Boers.

The officers were not able to stop him. After traveling 35 miles on several freeways, the driver crashed into Mesa Police Officer Brandon Mendoza who was on his way home from work.

Both drivers died, some wonder if the wrong-way driver could have been stopped earlier.

"We did what we could, everybody that had anything to do with this tragic incident feels pretty bad, pretty awful," said DPS spokesperson Bart Graves.

Many witnesses FOX 10 spoke to say there was little that could have been done, their thoughts are with the officers family, knowing it could have been any of them.

"I feel really bad for the loss of his family who has a really hard moment right now, I wish I could have done something else for their loved one," said Maciel.
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