TEMPE, Ariz. – A Maricopa County sheriff's deputy and a taxi cab driver were involved in a collision in Tempe over the weekend, but there are two very different accounts of what happened.
"The sheriff's department vehicle accelerated so hard that even my passengers were scared," said Victor Dema, who was driving some customers when he saw one of his fellow cab drivers get into a crash with an MCSO vehicle early Sunday morning.
He said the deputy accelerated too quickly after the light turned green heading south on Rural Road at Apache Boulevard.
"Two seconds before the impact then I saw the emergency lights of the sheriff vehicle come on and next thing there was the impact," Dema said.
Dema said the other cab driver was trying to cross Rural from the Chevron's driveway when he was hit.
"He was not expecting a car to come through at that time because everything was clear at first, but he was taken by surprise," Dema said.
Tempe police are blaming the taxi cab driver, saying he failed to yield.
"The deputy was going through that intersection and he was not in excessive speed going through the intersection," Lt. Jeff Glover said.
The cabbie had to be cut out of his car, but suffered minor injuries. The deputy also had minor injuries.
MCSO did not have lights and sirens on as they were patrolling for drunk drivers.