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ARIZONA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT

SUPPLEMENT
FORWARD COPY TO: ACCIDENT ANALYSIS UNIT 064R
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
206 SOUTH 17TH AVENUE, PHOENIX, AZ 85007-3233

Agency Report Number 2011-002740

YEAR/MO/DAY HOUR NCIC NO. OFFICER’S ID NO.


2011/01/18 1429 0799 05871

Synopsis:

On January 18, 2011 at approximately 1429 hours, a single vehicle collision with one fatality
occurred on Northbound Interstate 19 at Milepost 10.1.

Initial Observations:

Upon arrival, I observed patrol units from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, U.S.
Border Patrol and several motorist vehicles. I further observed a severely damaged gray
Chevrolet TrailBlazer in the center of the southbound lanes facing southeast. Two of the three
occupants had already been removed from the vehicle. First aid was being administered by Rio
Rico Fire personnel and Border Patrol agents.

Environment and Road Factors:

Interstate 19 at this location is a four lane interstate system with two lanes dedicated for
northbound travel and two lanes dedicated for southbound travel. Both directions at this location
are separated by a depressed vegetated median. Travel speed is rated at 75 miles per hour at this
location. The surrounding area consists of frontage roads on the west and east side of the entire
roadway as well as right of way fencing that separates and parallels the road.

Traffic Unit Information:

Traffic Unit #1 is a gray, 2008 Chevrolet TrailBlazer displaying Arizona license plate
AMH5652 with a vehicle identification number (VIN) of 1GNET16S636229075. Traffic Unit
#1 is owned by Maria Teresa Apodaca of Rio Rico and was operated by Ana Bertha Valenzuela
also of Rio Rico.

Traffic Unit #1 sustained a tread separation of the right rear tire contributing to the driver losing
control. Traffic Unit #1 sustained total damage to the roof, both right and left sides to include
the fenders, heavy damage to the driver’s door to include the “A” pillar, damage to the front end
to include the grill, hood, and windshield. All the right side windows are damaged to include the
rear window. Airbag deployment was not present. Traffic Unit #1 was removed from the scene
by Diaz Towing of Nogales.

Page 1 of 5 DPS 802-01036 New 01/97


ARIZONA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT
SUPPLEMENT
FORWARD COPY TO: ACCIDENT ANALYSIS UNIT 064R
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
206 SOUTH 17TH AVENUE, PHOENIX, AZ 85007-3233

Agency Report Number 2011-002740

YEAR/MO/DAY HOUR NCIC NO. OFFICER’S ID NO.


2011/01/18 1429 0799 05871

Driver and Passenger Information:

The driver of Traffic Unit #1 was identified as Ana Bertha Valenzuela, DOB 04/15/80.
Ms. Valenzuela stated her mother and one of her children were all shopping earlier that day in
Nogales, Sonora Mexico. They also did some shopping in Nogales, Arizona before returning to
pick up her children at school in Rio Rico. She was traveling approximately 75 M.P.H in the left
(#1) lane when she suddenly heard a noise. She lost control of her vehicle and it overturned. She
thought one of the tires blew out. The only thing she can remember is her son crying out inside
the vehicle. Ms. Valenzuela was wearing her seatbelt and sustained injuries to her face, head,
nose and left eye. She was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson and was admitted
due to her injuries. Ms. Valenzuela sustained a cranial fracture, nose fracture and a fracture to
the left side of her face.

Passengers:

Maria Dolores Apodaca (Seat position 13, mother of driver) was not wearing her seatbelt and
was ejected from the vehicle. Ms. Alpodaca sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision.
Injuries include severe blunt trauma to her head, torso, arms and legs. Ms. Apodaca was
pronounced deceased on scene at 1441 hours by Rich Walsh of Rio Rico Fire Department. Ms.
Apodaca was transported to the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner by Caroon’s
Mortuary of Nogales.

Carlos Manuel Valenzuela (Seat position 22) was in a child safety seat with seatbelt in tact.
Carlos was transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and released.

Witness Information:

There were several witnesses who observed the collision. These witnesses were identified as
Gabriel Campos of Rio Rico, Curtis William Anderson from Green Valley, Damian Milton
Maylor from Green Valley and Kyle T. Moore also from Green Valley. Anderson, Maylor and
Moore all stated they observed the right rear tire of Traffic Unit #1 blow out. The vehicle
appeared to be out of control and then entered the median and overturned. They also saw one of
the passengers ejected before landing inside the median. Campos stated he did not witness the
blowout because he was travelling in the opposite direction. He did see Traffic Unit #1 lose
control and overturn in the median in the direction of his vehicle. Campos avoided a collision
with Vehicle #1 and then stopped to call 911.

Page 2 of 5 DPS 802-01036 New 01/97


ARIZONA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT
SUPPLEMENT
FORWARD COPY TO: ACCIDENT ANALYSIS UNIT 064R
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
206 SOUTH 17TH AVENUE, PHOENIX, AZ 85007-3233

Agency Report Number 2011-002740

YEAR/MO/DAY HOUR NCIC NO. OFFICER’S ID NO.


2011/01/18 1429 0799 05871

All witnesses provided a written statement on scene. Off-duty Nogales Police Officer J. Pimienta
#255 stated he would generate a Nogales Police Report documenting his observations and
actions at the collision scene.

Next of Kin Notification and 24 Hour History:

Nogales Police Officer J. Pimienta # 255 assisted with the next of kin notification to Rodrigo
Valenzuela at 1601 hours. Mr. Valenzuela is the husband of Driver #1 (daughter of victim). Mr.
Valenzuela was advised that Maria Dolores Apodaca passed away as a result of the injuries she
sustained in the collision.

On 01/19/11, I obtained a 24-hour history of Maria Dolores Apodaca from her daughter, Ms.
Maria Teresa Apodaca. Ms. Apodaca had spent most of the previous day with her mother. On
01/17/11, her mother stayed home to celebrate her brother’s birthday. Her mother cooked all the
food for the party and they all ate together. Teresa and her mother took a nap during the evening
before Teresa went to work. Her mother stayed home to take care of her nephew. At 2100 hrs Ms.
Apodaca returned home from work and they had dinner at 2200 hours. At 2300 hours they went
to bed for the evening. On 01/18/11 at 0500 hours they woke up and her mother prepared
breakfast for both of them. At 0630 hours, Maria Apodaca drove to Volcan Court to drop her
grandsons off at the school bus stop. She then returned home to wait for her sister Ana (Driver
#1) to do laundry at their home in Rio Rico. After this her mother and sister went to Nogales,
Sonora Mexico. They delivered some vegetables and groceries to another sister that lives in
Mexico where they stayed most of the morning. When they returned to Nogales, Arizona her
mother and sister went to Wal-mart and the Family Dollar Store. The collision occurred when
they were driving home towards Rio Rico.

Other Actions or Evidence:

Investigation on scene showed Traffic Unit #1 was traveling northbound on Interstate 19 at


Milepost 10.1. Traffic Unit #1 was in the number one lane when the right rear tire sustained a
tread separation. Traffic Unit #1 then went into a slight counterclockwise rotation moving
northwest towards the median. Evidence of this was visible on the roadway through tire marks
and skip skids. Tire gouges in the roadway asphalt also showed evidence of the right rear wheel
making contact with the asphalt after losing tire pressure caused by the tread separation. Traffic
Unit #1 continued northwest, exited the number one lane, traveled over the emergency lane
parallel to the roadway and entered the median. Traffic Unit #1 continued into the median and

Page 3 of 5 DPS 802-01036 New 01/97


ARIZONA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT
SUPPLEMENT
FORWARD COPY TO: ACCIDENT ANALYSIS UNIT 064R
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
206 SOUTH 17TH AVENUE, PHOENIX, AZ 85007-3233

Agency Report Number 2011-002740

YEAR/MO/DAY HOUR NCIC NO. OFFICER’S ID NO.


2011/01/18 1429 0799 05871

overturned. Traffic Unit #1 crossed the median, entered the southbound lanes of traffic and came
to a final resting position facing southeast in the middle of both lanes of traffic.

The following tire information was recorded on scene:

Tire Position Tire Brand Tire Size PSI Tread Depth


Right Front (pending) LT 265/75 R16 Outside of rim 1/4”
Left Front (pending) LT 265/75 R16 14 PSI 1/4”
Right Rear (BF Goodrich) LT 265/75 R16 Deflated* Tread Separated
Left Rear (pending) LT 245/75 R16 Outside of rim 1/8”

*Tire did not register PSI reading on tire pressure gauge

Digital photographs of Traffic Unit #1, the collision scene and roadway were taken. The digital
photographs were sent to the DPS Photo Lab for processing. Officer F. Ayon #6905 collected the
larger piece and smaller pieces (14 total) of tread that came off the right rear tire of Traffic Unit
#1.

Officer Ayon completed an Evidence Inventory Chain of Custody and gave me the pieces to be
entered into the Property & Evidence storage lockers located at the Nogales Office.

Page 4 of 5 DPS 802-01036 New 01/97


ARIZONA TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT
SUPPLEMENT
FORWARD COPY TO: ACCIDENT ANALYSIS UNIT 064R
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
206 SOUTH 17TH AVENUE, PHOENIX, AZ 85007-3233

Agency Report Number 2011-002740

YEAR/MO/DAY HOUR NCIC NO. OFFICER’S ID NO.


2011/01/18 1429 0799 05871

Emergency First Responders on Scene

Arizona Department of Public Safety


Sgt. C. Serino #4731
Ofc. H. Lomeli #5871
Ofc. A. Terrazas #6912
Ofc. S. Walter #6066

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department


Cpl. C. Clarke #143
Dep. A. Gonzalez #153
Dep. D. Lopez #151

United States Border Patrol

Tubac Fire Department


P. Mendoza CPT/CEPT
G. Rivera BC/CEP
M. Lundberg FF/CEP
B. Martinez FF/EMT
A. Egurrola FF./EMT
J. Casretenson FF/EMT
L. Summerfield FF/CEP
C. Alvarez FF/EMT
P. Herron FF/CEP

Page 5 of 5 DPS 802-01036 New 01/97