PHOENIX — A man is dead after troopers believe another driver was driving with drugs in his system and crashed into three vehicles in Surprise.
Dewey Sigler, 57, is now facing manslaughter and drug charges after investigators said he had a presumptive positive test for meth after he was taken to the hospital following the crash Monday.
A spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety said Jeffery Hilbert was the driver killed Monday near 163rd and Grand Avenues in Surprise.
DPS believes that Sigler didn’t slow down for traffic and hit two other vehicles, as well as the one Hilbert was driving.
Sigler was taken to the hospital, and while there, court documents say Sigler told staff he used about 10 fentanyl pills a day and had a presumptive positive test for meth.
Investigators also said in the court documents that 30 presumed fentanyl pills were found in Sigler’s bag.
Drugged driving on the rise
Data from the Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety shows that drugged driving arrests are on the rise.
In 2016, 5,028 arrests were made for DUI Drug Arrests according to the office.
In 2021, that number rose to 8,439 arrests.
“What scares me is things like fentanyl, hallucinates and other substances that people are increasing those number of DUI drug [arrests],” Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety said.
Gutier said while officers might suspect someone is driving high, right now it can’t be proven until blood tests are done.
“Some agencies are testing some equipment that is promising, again – expensive but promising for the roadside testing that can be done.
Gutier is concerned over the increase, given the dangers drugged driving brings.
“More than anything else we need to make sure those people are removed from the road,” Gutier said.