Valley woman accuses Phoenix Police officer of failing to file accident report correctly

A Valley woman says she's still recovering from a car crash that happened nearly two years ago. 

Since the crash, Jannette Valenzuela says she hasn't only had to deal with her injuries, but a police report she says is incomplete.      

Valenzuela was t-boned in an intersection by a man she claims was driving drunk. Valenzuela claims the driver was never arrested for DUI, and the officer who wrote the report failed to mention major details of the accident.

"My light turns green and I go and that's it. Lights out," said Valenzuela.

The crash happened on June 30, 2018. Valenzuela was on her way home from the store when the crash happened at the intersection of 31st Avenue and McDowell. Valenzuela only remembers waking up in the hospital, and she claims a Phoenix Police officer who came to the hospital told her she had been hit by a drunk driver.

Janette Valenzuela, in hospital

"I broke my nose. I broke my jaw. I suffered a really bad concussion. I broke 11 ribs on my left side. I was bleeding internally from my spleen. My tibia, my fibia broke through my skin, so half of my leg is titanium rod," said Valenzuela.

Valenzuela says she was shocked when she looked at the police report. The report did not include the severity of her injuries, and it showed the driver who hit her was only cited for a suspended license and failure to obey a traffic control device.

Valenzuela obtained the body camera video of the incident, which only added to her anger. In the video, the responding officer, identified as Michael Ferreira, can be heard talking with the man who was driving the car and dispatch.

"You can clearly see in the video he is slurring, can't spell his name. He doesn't have a shirt on," said Valenzuela.

Janette Valenzuela

Valenzuela filed a complaint against Officer Ferreira.

For his part, Ferreira claimed he didn't have probable cause to put the driver behind the wheel of the vehicle, since he arrived about 30 minutes after the accident.  Ferreira also claimed he didn't learn of the injuries until days later.

"The officer was saying, 'well we couldn't do it because what if he left, got drunk, came back? They couldn't prove it. I said well if you couldn't do a DUI test, you couldn't prove he was a driver, then why would you cite him for running the red light? That doesn't make any sense," said Valenzuela.

Valenzuela says because of all this, she's not able to make proper insurance claims against the driver to help cover her extensive medical bills.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Police Professional Standards Board cited Ferreira for "neglect of duty". The officer was written up.