August proved to be a particularly deadly month in Arizona with 64 people dying on state highways — 32 in roll-over crashes in which they weren’t wearing seat belts.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said troopers investigated a total of 48 fatal collisions between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31. Sixty-four people died as a result of those crashes and many others were injured.
"Nearly 50 percent of the crashes investigated in August involved a vehicle going off the road and rolling," said officer Steve Volden, a DPS spokesman. "A small percent of those rollovers involved a tire malfunction, but the majority of the rollovers can be directly linked back to driver fatigue or inattention."
People are pushing themselves too much, Volden said. Instead of pulling over and resting when they get tired, they continue on, get more fatigued and then fall asleep.
The crashes took place throughout the state. In one incident, a 47-year-old Mesa resident was killed and his 14-year-old daughter injured in a crash on U.S. 60.
Robert Robles was driving under the influence on U.S. 60 when he tried to leave the freeway near Mesa Drive, overcorrected, cut across all of the lanes and slammed into a median wall, Volden said.
Robles, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, died a couple of days after the Aug. 26 crash as a result of blunt force trauma, Volden said. His daughter, Ashleh, broke her left ankle and suffered abrasions from the seat belt she was wearing.
Had Robles been wearing his seat belt, he likely would have survived the crash, Volden said.