Driver accused of using phone and speeding in crash that killed 4 in Arizona, including Calgary couple

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A driver has been arrested after a crash that fatally injured four people, including a Calgary couple, in Arizona in March — with police alleging he was going 30 km/h over the limit and using his phone at the time.

Alex Bashaw, 28, was arrested on a grand jury warrant in Ohio with a $750,000 bond and is awaiting extradition to Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a release this week.

Bashaw is charged with four counts of manslaughter. 

Alex Bashaw, 28, faces four charges of manslaughter. (Rapsheets.org)

On March 13, at approximately 9:12 a.m., four pedestrians — Patti Lou Doornbos and her husband Ron, both 60 and from Calgary, and Karen Bonta, 71, and Robert Bonta, 72, from Iowa — were walking on a sidewalk near the intersection of Saguaro and Palisades Boulevard in Fountain Hills, near Phoenix. 

The two couples, who did not know each other, were struck by a gold Ford Explorer SUV.

Patti Lou, Karen and Robert were killed instantly in the crash. Ron was thrown 30 metres, leaving him seriously injured and in a coma. He died at a Calgary hospital on June 12. 

Police said the SUV was going 85 km/h in a 55 km/h zone when it hit a raised cement curb before striking Patti Lou and Ron, who were walking on the sidewalk. 

The SUV then rotated through the intersection, on a red light, hitting Karen and Robert, who were crossing the street legally at the time. 

The SUV’s driver, Bashaw, was tested at the scene and police said he showed no signs of impairment. 

Police said Bashaw stated that he was looking down at the time of the crash and did not know why he drove off the road, and that he said he was not using his cellphone at the time. 

Bashaw assisted with CPR on two of the victims, until fire officials told him to stop. 

Security cameras showed the light turning from green to red approximately 12 seconds before the collision, which police said would not have been enough time to stop at the speed Bashaw was allegedly travelling.

Police executed a search warrant to obtain data from Bashaw’s cellphone, which they said showed he received a call and was using his phone in the first few seconds of the collision. 



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