What could have been a horrific wrong-way collision was narrowly averted Friday night when quick-thinking motorists narrowly avoided a wrong-way driver on Pecos Road.
Police arrested Rogelio Hernandez Castillo, 40, near 40th Street and Pecos Road for traveling east in the westbound lane in a white Ford F-150.
Police say that preliminary results from a portable breath test showed Castillo, who lives in northeast Phoenix, with an alcohol level over 0.15, well over the 0.08 limit.
“He was pretty intoxicated and actually had an open beer between his legs,” said Sgt. Bryant Rockwood.
Several motorists had to get out of Castillo’s way as he drove the wrong way on Pecos Road from Desert Foothills Parkway towards Interstate 10 around 11 p.m.
Donna Barnard’s daughter Danielle was returning home from the Desert Vista High School football game when the vehicle in front of her suddenly swerved to the side and she saw Castillo’s approaching headlights.
“She just turned 17 and is a great driver, but kids don’t know what to do. She was in shock,” Barnard said. Fortunately her daughter immediately swerved out of the way.
No one was hurt by Castillo, but the same wasn’t true on Christmas Eve in 2007. That evening Trang Vo and three relatives were returning home when Christopher Lee Smith drove the wrong way on Pecos Road and ran head-on into their van. Vo died and three other occupants were seriously injured. Police say that Smith had a BAC of 0.20.
Pecos Road is unforgiving when it comes to inattentive drivers. Don Anselmo was struck and killed in 2004, two joggers was seriously injured by a drunk driver in 2007 and the intersection of 40th Street and Pecos Road has seen several major crashes.
“Its pretty scary,” said Barnard, who drives Pecos Road daily.