Tags Articles tagged with "tragedy"


Frank Dorizio (ADOT photo)

An Arizona Department of Transportation employee was killed Wednesday while setting up a sign alerting drivers to pavement repairs along Interstate 10 south of the Phoenix area.

Frank Dorizio, 55, was a member of ADOT’s Incident Response Unit, which helps keep Phoenix-area freeways safe by setting up traffic control, removing debris and assisting stranded motorists.

Dorizio is the first ADOT worker since 1998 to be struck and killed while working along a highway.

“While the Arizona Department of Public Safety continues its investigation, this is a tragic reminder that drivers must stay alert around construction zones and always be prepared for the unexpected,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Lives are on the line when dedicated highway workers like Frank Dorizio are making things better for all of us in work zones.”

Dorizio joined ADOT in October 2015 as a highway operations worker with the Little Antelope Maintenance Unit in northern Arizona. In 2017, he joined the Happy Valley Maintenance Unit in Phoenix. He joined the new Incident Response Unit last September.

“Whether or not we worked directly with Frank Dorizio, each of us at ADOT mourns his loss and honors his commitment to getting everyone safely home,” Halikowski said. “His co-workers and friends say the same thing about Frank: ADOT was his family, and he was committed to our agency’s mission and to the people of Arizona.”

Police lights

A local man died, and two people were injured in a crash Sunday night.

According to Maricopa Police Department, the one-vehicle rollover occurred near the junction of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway and Hartman Road at around 10:30 p.m. The three occupants were ejected.

The male driver was deceased at the scene. A female passenger received a serious injury to her arm, according to MPD, and the other female passenger had non-life-threatening injuries.

“Impairment and speed are considered a factor,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado stated.

The identities have not been released, though occupants were apparently from Ak-Chin Indian Community and Thunderbird Farms.

UPDATE: Joshua Call died of his injuries. Friends and family are planning a candle-light gathering in his memory at Raceway Bar & Grill on Papago Road, Tuesday, July 2, at 7 p.m., with the candle-lighting starting between 7:45 and 8 p.m. Donations for the family are welcome.

Joshua Call (Facebook)

A 30-year-old Maricopa man is on life support after falling from a roof during construction work Friday.

According to Maricopa Police Department, the cause of the accident is under investigation and involves Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). He reportedly fell from a high elevation through the roof into the interior of a home under construction and suffered severe head injuries.

The incident happened around 12:42 p.m. on West Mediterranean Way in Sorrento.

He was transported with life-threatening injuries to a trauma center in Chandler. Friends are identifying him as Joshua Call.

A person has died after being tased in a confrontation with Maricopa Police officers early Saturday morning in the backyard of an Acacia Crossing home.

According to MPD, a possible burglary was reported around 3:45 a.m. Officers responded to the 45000 block of Paitilla Lane. A caller reported the breaking of the glass door and told police someone had entered the house. She was told to stay on the phone and confine herself to a restroom for protection.

Officers arrived to hear the suspect in the backyard yelling.

“Officers entered the backyard and gave commands to the subject to get on the ground,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado reported. “During the arrest commands the subjected charged the officers and began to fight. Due to the subject’s acts of aggression toward he officers, he was tased.”

Police cuffed him and put on leg restraints. Maricopa Fire/Medical Department responded and checked the suspect. According to MPD, the man stopped breathing while MFMD was on scene. He was transported to Chandler Regional Medical Center.

He was later pronounced dead by the hospital staff.

The individual is described only as a 36-year-old male while the in-custody death is investigated by the Department of Public Safety.

ADOT photo

Department of Public Safety is investigating the cause of a five-vehicle collision that claimed the lives of a Maricopa woman and two children Wednesday.

The fiery crash occurred at approximately 9:52 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Interstate 10 between Wild Horse Pass Boulevard and Queen Creek Road.

Kim Frankel, 46, who had been a long-time teacher at Maricopa Unified School District, and her two young passengers, described as infants by DPS, were declared deceased at the scene.

The roadside tragedy was initiated in the eastbound lanes.

A 41-year-old commercial tractor-trailer driver from Mesa was traveling east on I-10 when he veered sharply left for an unknown reason. The tractor trailer struck a Chevy Tahoe, sending both vehicles through the median and over the cable barriers into westbound traffic.

Three vehicles, including the Toyota van driven by Frankel, were struck by the tractor-trailer rig.

Frankel’s van and the tractor trailer reportedly burst into flames after the crash, according to DPS. The driver of the tractor trailer sustained injuries and was transported to the hospital.

Two adults and two juvenile passengers in other vehicles were also transported to nearby hospitals for injuries.

The fatal crash shutdown the major artery into Phoenix for the entire day. Westbound lanes reopened around 6:45 p.m. that evening.

The DPS investigation is still ongoing.


The Shaw children (from left) LeAnne, Dylan, Hailey and Ethen

Friends of the Masterson family, who lost four children in a fire this week, have started a fund-drive at GoFundMe.com to help pay for the expense of returning the remains to Arizona.

Ethen Alexander Shaw, born April 28, 2000, LeAnne Elizabeth Shaw, born Jan. 22, 2002, Hailey Faith Shaw, born Feb. 3, 2005, and Dylan Joseph Shaw, born Feb. 26, 2006, died along with their father Timothy Shaw and stepmother Melissa Shaw on Nov. 21 at their home in Ogle County, Illinois.

The children’s mother and stepfather, Veronica and Corey Masterson, live in Maricopa with their three children, Riley, 7, Addison, 6, and Michael, 1.

Ethen, LeAnne, Hailey and Dylan are preceded by their brother Aaron William Masterson, who passed away in 2013 of sudden infant death syndrome at the age of 4 months.

Along with their mother, stepfather and siblings, they are survived by maternal grandparents in Maricopa, paternal grandparents in Illinois, aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends.

RIP my sweet babies.
Death has parted us, my loves,
Something no mortal could do.
And we are left behind now,
Feeling oh so lost and blue.
No more will I rise each morning,
To see your dear, sweet faces,
To hear you say good morning Momma,
And hold me in your embraces.
We’ve kissed our final good night,
And we’ve said our last goodbyes.
And now there’s nothing for me to do
But remember you, my loves, and cry.

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A Maricopa mother was informed this morning her four oldest children perished in a house fire in Illinois overnight.

“The Maricopa fire chaplain and a few cops came to my door,” said Veronica Masterson. “How can this happen in one family?”

Veronica and her husband Corey Masterson previously lost a 4-month-old son, Aaron, to sudden infant death syndrome in 2013.

Veronica Masterson said the oldest children, age 11-17, were staying with their father Timothy Shaw, 39, near Dixon, Illinois. Their father and his wife Melissa, 37, also died, according to fire reports.

The fire broke out just after midnight Tuesday morning. The state fire marshal and state police are investigating but the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

The children, Ethen Alexander Shaw, 17, LeAnne Elizabeth Shaw, 15, Hailey Faith Shaw, 12, and Dylan Joseph Shaw, 11, had attended school at Legacy and Sequoia Pathway in Maricopa before they moved to Illinois to spend time with their father.

“He was in the military, so he was gone most of the time,” Veronica Masterson said. “Then he left the military, and they had a chance to get to know him. Even though he wasn’t around much, Daddy’s still a hero.”

She last spoke to the kids two days ago. Veronica has the kids every Christmas, and they talked about how long they would stay and how they could accommodate their father’s family in the holiday. Shaw’s parents live around the corner from his house.

Ethen Shaw is reported to have called 911 the night of the fire, saying he was trapped in the basement by smoke.

“When first responders arrived on scene, the two story residential structure was fully engulfed,” Ogle County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release. “Once the fire was extinguished six victims were located in the residence, one on the second floor, four on the first floor and one in the basement.”

Catrina Jensen has been best friends with Veronica Masterson since before LeAnne was born. They lived across the street from each other for years in San Diego.

“Their babies were my babies,” she said, likening the Shaws to Cabbage Patch Kids. “They were gorgeous babies. Just gorgeous, with big, huge round eyes and chubby, little fat faces.”

She said Ethen, a senior in high school, recently landed his first job. “He’s going to be so terribly missed.” LeAnne was “a whole bunch on the shy side, but when she warmed up to you, she loved you with her whole heart.”

She called Hailey the Enforcer and Dylan the Negotiator. “Hailey was a firecracker. Dylan was her little peacemaker. He loved everyone. He was a delight.”

Jensen, who later discovered her husband and Veronica are second cousins, has always felt part of the family. With events that have rocked the Mastersons the past four years, she has become a Veronica’s rock.

The Mastersons have three children at home, age 7, 6 and 1. Two were at school when Veronica learned about the tragedy. She anguished through the day wondering how she would tell them about their brothers and sisters.

At the same time, she struggled to find answers for herself. “I got my baby, I got my other kids,” she said. “It’s not my whole heart, but it’s such a huge part of it.

“My husband was a great strength when Aaron died. I didn’t know if I’d come back from his death. I kind of went down a dark rabbit hole. But he brought me back. We have each other.”

After Aaron’s death, Jensen moved her family to Maricopa to watch over Veronica and help pull her back from the dark side. “She locked everybody out, and I told her, ‘I’m here, I’m staying, you’re going to look at me and talk to me, and we’re going to get through this. This time, I don’t know.”

“Her support is something you only dream about having in your life,” Masterson said.

Now dealing with the unthinkable, Masterson’s focus is on bringing her children back to Arizona. Jensen has set up a fund to help the family.

“I need to get my babies home,” Masterson said. “I need them home.”

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