PHOENIX — The Department of Public Safety is warning drivers ahead of the holiday weekend to be careful out on the roads.
A new study by "USA Today Blueprint" shows a 33% increase in driving fatalities during the months of June, July, and August in Arizona since 2018.
The study comes on the heels of a fatal crash over the weekend that happened on Loop 202 South Mountain near 32nd Street.
Police said Allen Michael Johnson, 34, caused the five-car crash that left his girlfriend's 10-year-old son dead. Meanwhile, the mother and her 5-year-old daughter are still fighting to recover.
One of the many witnesses who saw that heartbreaking crash sent 12News videos and pictures of the aftermath. Authorities said this latest accident is a harsh reminder that Summer is a deadly time on our roads.
Bart Graves with DPS said, in this case, Johnson was four times the legal limit, when he drove the wrong way and caused the fatality.
"Our hope is that we don’t have the kind of carnage caused by severely impaired wrong-way drivers," he explained.
According to court records, Johnson admitted to drinking and driving the wrong way but said he didn't feel drunk.
"It’s just sad but we're in this fight to end it and we’re still working. A lot of our fatalities and crashes involve out-of-staters it’s not just Arizonans," Graves added.
Grave reminds everyone to drive with care and always know what’s going on in front of them and adjust their speed. With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, authorities are encouraging everyone to be careful on the roads and if necessary, arrange an alternative ride home, so that you and everyone else get home safely.
In the meantime, Johnson is facing aggravated assault and 2nd-degree murder charges.
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