Woman killed in crash with Mesa police cruiser

A Mesa police officer escaped serious injury late Saturday after his unmarked patrol car slammed into another car, killing an elderly woman.

The crash occurred about 11:30 p.m., as Deborah Cowley, 58, drove her mother, Maxine King, 81, near 1600 S. Crismon Road in east Mesa, said Detective Mike Melendez, a police spokesman.

Cowley was southbound on Crismon in a four-door 2010 Chevrolet Cavalier and attempted to make a left-hand turn onto the eastbound onramp to the US 60, police said.

Police say Cowley failed to yield to oncoming traffic and turned in front of the officer’s cruiser, which was northbound on Crismon. The officer, whose name was not released, struck the Cavalier on the passenger side door.

The officer was transported to Desert Vista Hospital for neck pain and bruising on the right side of his face, but was later released.

Cowley was transported to Scottsdale Osborn Hospital with non-life threatening injuries and lacerations, police said. She also complained of chest and back pains.

Mesa fire crews had to cut Cowley’s mother from the car. King was transported to Desert Vista Hospital where she was pronounced dead from severe injuries to her head and body.

It did not appear Cowley was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Melendez said.

The crash is strikingly similar to one that killed Viva Meuller, 93, who died April 3 when her 60-year-old daughter allegedly ran a red light and was broadsided by an SUV at Val Vista Drive and McKellips Road.

The fatal crash late Saturday is the second involving an on-duty Mesa police officer. On April 22, an officer ran over a 50-year-old woman lying in the street on Apache Trail, near 96th Street, police said previously.

The officer was eastbound in an unmarked car when he noticed the woman and slammed on the breaks. However, he was not able to stop in time.

She was airlifted to Maricopa County Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

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