Investigators have determined that impairment may have been what led to a rollover crash that ended in the death of two people and the injury of two others in Mesa late last month.
AZ Central reports that the fatal crash happened on Tuesday, May 26th, at approximately 9:30 a.m. near Greenfield Road and the Loop 202 when the driver lost control of their vehicle.
According to Detective Jason Flam with the Mesa Police Department, the victims have been identified as 43-year-old Melanie Lopez, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash and front-seat passenger, 28-year-old Michael Norris, Jr.
The occupants of the vehicle believed that they were heading toward the reservation on Gilbert Road. Instead, the truck was reported to have been traveling northbound on a portion of Greenfield Road, which is a dead-end road that ends in a cul de sac. Beyond the roadway, the terrain slopes sharply downward.
The vehicle reportedly went past the cul de sac, became airborne, then landed nose first some 75 feet away. The impact caused the vehicle to flip onto its roof.
Another passenger who was in the vehicle at the time of the crash was able to get free from the wreckage while three others inside had to be extricated by a team of rescuers. Lopez and Norris were declared dead at the scene of the crash.
Authorities say that a 35-year-old man suffered broken bones in the accident while a 30-year-old woman sustained only minor injuries and complained of general pain. Both were taken to the hospital and are expected to make a full recovery.
Mesa Police detectives are still investigating the crash. Officials believe that driver impairment and confusion played a role in the fatal crash.