Group-home worker arrested after wreck, 2 hurt

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MESA, Ariz. -- A counselor at a group home is facing charges of aggravated assault after two of his young charges were injured in a car wreck. Police believe the man was impaired by drugs at the time of the crash.

It happened at Huber and 40th streets (north of Brown Road) shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Mesa police, a Dodge Caravan was heading east on Huber Street when the driver allegedly ran a stop sign. Investigators say Darrell Rochester, 23, was behind the wheel.

The Dodge Caravan collided with a Ford Taurus that was southbound on 40th Street.

The impact caused the van to roll. In addition Rochester, four boys from New Horizons, the Mesa group home where Rochester is a counselor, were in the van.

Two of those boys were injured. Both of them were taken to a local hospital.

The youngest passenger, an 8-year-old, suffered a broken clavicle and needed stitches for another injury.

The woman who was driving the Taurus that the van hit was not hurt.

Police arrested Rochester for drug impairment. He was later booked on aggravated assault charges.