Booze, speed causing slew of road deaths - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Booze, speed causing slew of road deaths

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - We're not even five months into the year and already the island has recorded six traffic fatalities.  That's already half of the total number of fatalities recorded for all of 2009. Worried that the trend may continue police are urging residents to slow down, stay sober and abide by the rules of the road. 

"The only way we can prevent that is of course don't speed, follow the speed limit, don't drink and drive and buckle up," urged GPD Highway Patrol Division Captain Steve Ignacio.  He says after investigating a number of recent crashes and fatalities, it's evident that speed and/or alcohol were contributing factors.  Take for instance the motorcycle crash at Polaris Point this past Sunday afternoon: 22-year-old Allan Quidachay Borja died from massive head injuries he sustained in the crash and police say he was going at least 87 miles per hour.

"When the operator ran into the rear of the Chevy Suburban, he vaulted 13 feet, came back down to the ground, and then skid another 130 feet before he came to his final rest," Cpt. Ignacio said.

Police warn that speed and alcohol are a deadly combination for someone getting behind the wheel, as proved to be the case for Mathew Esiwily, who lost control of his vehicle on the Back Road to Andersen Air Force Base in Mangilao and crashed into a concrete utility pole.  Not only was he speeding at 70 miles per hour, Ignacio said, "With that case we've determined that alcohol was involved. We're waiting for the final documents from GMH, so we can get the final blood alcohol level - the alcohol content in his system at the time he crashed."

Alcohol has also been determined to be a factor in the near-fatal crash that occurred on Chalan Mataguac in Yigo earlier this month.  Anthony Stos was just released from the hospital this week from injuries he sustained in the crash, but police confirm he was under the influence and wasn't wearing a seatbelt.  

19-year-old Justin D. Dizon of Mangilao was arrested in connection with this past Saturday's auto-pedestrian accident that occurred on Route 4 in Hagatna. Traffic investigators believe the pedestrian ran into the car and have yet to determine if he was intoxicated but they also found Dizon to be at fault," with Ignacio saying, "The operator of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash, so he was arrested for that."

Ignacio says the driver who ran off the roadway on Cross-Island Road is lucky to still be alive, as police estimate he was speeding at 65 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol level of 0.179 - double the legal limit.

That's why police are driving a very serious point, with the captain saying, "We'd like to remind the public that they make a choice when they get behind the wheel. They choose to drink and drive. They choose to speed and they choose not to wear their seat belt.  So we'd like to remind the public to make the better choice; don't drink and drive, follow the speed limit and always wear your seat belt."

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