NewsOperation Safe Roads


Dangerous driving near Phoenix high school putting neighbors on edge

Posted at 6:12 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 01:31:59-04

ABC15's Operation Safe Roads team is talking to a group of Phoenix neighbors who are pushing back after they say teens have terrorized their street with screeching tires.

This week the reckless driving led to someone being hit. Fortunately, the father jumped out of the way and only sustained a hand injury after hitting his fingers on the driver's side-view mirror.

It happened near 21st Street and Union Hills Drive. Neighbors say their once quiet block now sounds like a drag-racing strip at all hours of the day.

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"It's always awesome to be woken up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning to screeching tires doing donuts," said one neighbor, sarcastically. "You're afraid to go outside and walk your dog or have your kids outside because you never know when these kids are going to come flying through here."

On Monday, two cars drove down the street and one began doing loud donuts in the old cul-de-sac.

"A little red Miata, ragtop, came in here and started doing donuts," said Sean McCarthy.

McCarthy stepped outside his home, hoping to snap a photo of the license plate for police.

"He went so wide on the turn that he breached the curb. You can see the tire marks coming up on the curb while I was standing right here behind my son's car," McCarthy said, explaining the moments before he was hit.

McCarthy jumped out of the way.

"As I went [into] the street I caught his right mirror unfortunately with my right hand," he said.

The hand is injured, but not broken. The suspect sped off, neighbors followed and told ABC15 they saw him stop at nearby North Valley High School before speeding off again.

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"Just from talking to some of the kids in the area, it’s a group of car kids that like to go out and do this stuff and put their videos on Facebook and Instagram," said one neighbor, who asked not to be identified for personal reasons.

The terrorizing teens are not new to the block.

"It has been going on for three years," said McCarthy.

"Morning, noon, and night. It’s pretty much a constant thing," said the other neighbor.

The block has called the cops, and provided partial license plate numbers, and even surveillance video.

So far, there have been no arrests.

"I don’t think the police are taking this seriously at all because no one has really gotten seriously hurt except me," said McCarthy. "Is it going to take him being killed before something happens." 

McCarthy fears it may end with someone getting injured.

"There have been conversations about people saying, 'I have my gun. I’m going to bring my shotgun out'," he said. "They aren't looking to injure the kids, they are looking for the incidents to stop. And flashing a gun at a kid might make them stop coming here."

It is terrifying to imagine, but neighbors say they are the ones really living in fear.

"I’m afraid to walk my dogs on the street. I’m very nervous about my neighbors children," said McCarthy.
"Hopefully the parents are going to see that that car, if not their son, was involved in this incident and something is going to happen"

Police are investigating the incident but did not elaborate on the crime or the police report filed.

North Canyon High School told ABC15 they just heard about the alleged reckless driving after our interviews.

In a statement they wrote: 

"The school will be working together with their School Resource Officer (SRO) to verify whether or not the alleged reckless driving in the cul-de-sac is in fact North Canyon High School students. If this is determined to be the case, NCHS administration will work in cooperation with local police, those that may be involved, as well as with all students to ensure this does not occur again in the future."

McCarthy and his neighbors are working to get more speed bumps added before and after the cul-de-sac.
They have 10 signatures and are on their way to having the city conduct a traffic study into speeds on the street.

That study will determine how much residents pay for the speed bumps. If drivers are slow in the area and go less than 25 mph, than bumps cost the neighborhood $1,200.

If traffic is normally over 30 mph, than residents only have to chip in a combined $100.

You can learn more about the speed hump program here.