Tempe police are investigating two fatal crashes that occurred in separate collisions early Monday, one in which a pickup truck driver was decapitated when he crashed into a house being hauled by a heavy load trailer, police said.
Jacob B. Wagner, 28, of Phoenix, was driving north about 2:15 a.m. on Priest Drive and attempting to turn west on 14th Street when he collided into the rig’s trailer, said police Sgt. Dan Masters.
The impact sheared off the pickup’s cab. The tractor-trailer was clearly marked as an oversized load and had two civilian and two Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars as escorts, Masters said.
A 72-year-old man directing the truck driver was struck by Wagner’s truck, but was not seriously injured.
Police inspected the truck and may cite the company, J. Sanabria Trucking, on suspicion of about three dozen violations, Masters said.
The violations were not believed to be a cause in the crash, but the truck was taken out of service, Masters said.
In the second crash, two men riding east about 6 a.m. in a compact car on Washington Street ran a red light at Mill Avenue and collided with a northbound sport utility vehicle, traveling on a green light, Masters said.
Most of the impact was into the car’s passenger side, fatally injuring the passenger, Jesse E. Paderez, 47, of Guadalupe, Masters said.
The driver of the car was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital for non life-threatening injuries, and the SUV driver suffered minor injuries, Masters said.