DPS: 310 collisions, 5 fatalities over Thanksgiving

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Public Safety investigated 310 traffic collisions statewide over Thanksgiving weekend, the agency announced Wednesday.

Of the collisions, 98 involved injuries and two involved fatalities. Five people, including an infant, were killed.

The first fatal collision occurred Saturday, when two people crashed their motorcycle into a freeway wall in Phoenix.

John Carlos Sorto, of Tempe, and his passenger, Audry April Smith, 25, of Tonalea, were merging onto the I-17 north from the I-10 west when they apparently struck a concrete wall of the transition ramp, investigators said. They were ejected from the bike and fell 120 feet to the ground.

They were pronounced dead at the scene.

The second fatal collision occurred on the I-40 near milepost 91. Of the four occupants in the vehicle, two adults and an 8-month-old were killed.

The Department of Public Safety said the adults were not wearing seat belts and the infant was not in a car seat. The driver, however, was properly restrained, according to the department.

Investigators believe the cause of the collision was driver fatigue.

Highway patrol units increased their presence along Arizona's highways between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1 in effort to reduce unsafe driving. They enforced violations related to seat belt usage, speed, impairment, and overall dangerous driving behaviors.

The agency is reminding drivers to rest and abide by all traffic laws.