Phoenix media continues to cover the ongoing developments in the deaths of Josh and Miranda Barela who rode from Farmington, NM to Phoenix for the 16th Annual Chester's Torch Ride benefiting Special Olympics Arizona. This ride kicked off Arizona Bike Week.
New documents recently released by Scottsdale Police indicate that the route was to have police escorts and intersections were to be controlled to allow riders to pass as a group. In reality, only 57% of the planned for officers ever made it onto the route, and intersections that were designated to be held green for riders -- most notably the intersection in which the Barelas were struck by an oncoming vehicle -- were not.
Ted Schmidt, who has handled governmental liability claims for 35 years, commented:
The Barelas' crash is "exactly what you are trying to protect against," said Tucson-based attorney Ted A. Schmidt, who has litigated government liability cases for 35 years.
"It looks like they had properly planned for the safety of this event, particularly as it pertains to going through intersections," said Schmidt, managing partner of Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC. "They didn't implement their plan."
A Scottsdale Police Department spokesman said two days after the crash that 11 Scottsdale police officers were assigned to the Torch Ride. E-mails and officer assignments released last week by Scottsdale police show the coordinating officer had originally requested 23 officers and police assistants. Records show there were actually 13 people assigned to the event.
"If you come up short by almost half, it seems to me there was a breakdown somewhere," Schmidt said.
You can read the latest coverage of this incident here.