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Maricopa County judge dies after being hit by car

Officials said the car failed to stop at a red light when it hit Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz.

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County judge has died Saturday after she was hit by a car three days prior, officials said

Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz was reportedly crossing the street on foot the morning of Feb. 2 when a car failed to stop at a red light and hit her, court officials said.

The Phoenix Police Department said the collision happened near the intersection of 56th Street and Camelback Road. The driver of the car remained at the scene and cooperated with police, officers said.

Mroz served as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge for the court's criminal department.

"Arizona is saddened to hear of the tragic passing of Judge Rosa Mroz," said Governor Doug Ducey in a statement. "An advocate for justice, dutiful public servant and transformational leader, Judge Mroz will be missed. We wish her family, loved ones and colleagues peace during this difficult time."

According to the Judicial Branch of Arizona website, Mroz joined the department in 2004. She previously served as the assistant attorney general for the Attorney General’s liability management section, deputy county attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and other high-profile roles.

“The fact that she was injured and hurt is devastating to all of us,” said retired Phoenix Municipal Court Judge Roxanne Song Ong, a close friend of Mroz. “It’s a troublesome day and I’ve been in tears and praying for her and the family and when I found out she was in surgery, praying for the surgeons.”

Ong said in 2012, Mroz received a special achievement award from the Arizona Supreme Court for judicial achievement in the general jurisdiction category.

In 2020, Mroz was named Maricopa County Superior Court's Judicial Officer of the Year by the Arizona State Sandra Day O’Conner College of Law, said Ong.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association gave her the Daniel K. Inouye trailblazer award, which is the organization’s highest honor that recognizes outstanding achievements, commitment, and leadership of lawyers who have paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorney’s, said NAPABA in a Facebook post.

Mroz’s family migrated to the United States in 1972 from Taiwan, and when she was 18 years old, she and her family became U.S. citizens, said Ong.

In a video when she received the NAPABA award, Mroz said she was inspired to be an attorney after the judge swore her in as an American Citizen. She also said she was appointed by Judge Janet Napolitano in 2004.

“She is known as a fair and just judge,” said Ong. “Beyond her intelligence and her brilliance as a judge, she is a caring and generous individual.”

Speeding problems

Neighbors said people tend to drive fast near where the accident occurred, a common and dangerous problem because of its proximity to a walkway path to Camelback Mountain.

“There’s a lot of speeding,” said Steven Wilson. “It’s not surprising that somebody would get hit eventually, but it’s tough.”

“We’ll have to work with the city and see what we can do to help deter speed and slow down people blowing through this intersection,” said James Kaiser.

This is a developing story. Tune in to 12 News for the latest information.

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The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) offers driving tips to help keep people safe on the road. 

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website. 

ADOT's suggestions include: 

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively 

  • Never drive while under the influence of substances 

  • Avoid distractions while driving 

  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same 

  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over 

  • Stay extra aware in work zones 

  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous 

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here. 

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said. 

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