There were more deaths during 2022 on the stretch of State Route 347 from Interstate 10 south to Maricopa.
In the first, last Jan. 27, Buford Delaughter of Maricopa was killed in a crash on the highway at Casa Blanca Road.
According to Arizona Department of Transportation, Delaughter’s vehicle was southbound on SR 347 when it crossed the median and collided with a northbound vehicle with four occupants. Delaughter’s vehicle burst into flames and he suffered fatal injuries. None of the occupants in the other vehicle sustained life-threatening injuries.
The next fatality came in February when Vanity Chavez, a recent graduate of Maricopa High School, died in a single-car crash. The driver of the car, Christian Galindo, also of Maricopa, was arrested and charged on multiple counts, including DUI, extreme DUI, aggravated DUI and driving on a suspended license, police said.
“A Nissan Sentra was seen traveling at a high rate of speed before it rolled an unknown number of times,” reported DPS spokesman Bart Graves. “There were signs of impairment located on scene. One female passenger was ejected and later pronounced deceased at a Chandler hospital.”
In November, a two-vehicle fatal collision at State Route 347 and Riggs Road took the life of a Maricopa man.
Anthony Valenzuela, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene after his motorcycle collided with a Jeep Wrangler at the intersection, according to DPS. Valenzuela was southbound on SR 347 when he struck the SUV as it made a left turn from the northbound lanes of SR 347 onto Riggs Road.
The driver of the Jeep was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.