Collision in Phoenix just misses couple with stroller

- Chelsea Curtis Arizona Republic USA TODAY NETWORK

PHOENIX – The family whose vehicle crashed into a red light runner’s vehicle in Phoenix last week – quite possibly saving the lives of another family crossing the street at the time – described the incident as a “blessing.”

Police say the collision occurred on the evening of Oct. 14 when a 2017 Jeep Renegade traveling east ran a red light and was struck broadside by a 2016 Chevrolet Cruz traveling south.

The incident was captured on city of Phoenix traffic camera video.

It shows the pedestrian­s step into the street and start to cross the road on a green light. Within seconds, the Jeep enters the picture and runs the light, on a direct path toward the pedestrian­s, one of whom is pushing a stroller.

At the last second, the Chevrolet, which has a green light, comes into the intersecti­on and crashes into the side of the Jeep, stopping it from hitting the couple in the street. The Chevrolet then spins upon impact and barely misses them, as they run away, unharmed.

“When I watch the video, it just gives me chills,” said Shannon Vivar, the 27year-old driver of the Chevrolet Cruz.

“I don’t really think I’m a hero, I think it was meant to happen,” she later said.

Vivar said her 3-year-old son and mother, Shirley Vivar, were passengers and that they all were unharmed.

Shannon and Shirley Vivar recounted their experience in the crash Thursday during a press conference at the Phoenix Police Department headquarte­rs.

In a post on Facebook Wednesday, Ulysses Betancourt of Glendale said he was the one walking with his fiancee and child in the stroller when the collision occurred.

“That night was scary,” he wrote in a public post. “Seeing it from a different point of view, I can’t believe how close we actually were to being hit.”

The Jeep was driven by 28-year-old Ernesto Otanez Oveso, who threatened a witness with a knife as he tried to flee from the scene, according to court records. The witness was unharmed, the documents add.

Oveso was arrested and booked on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, weapons possession by a prohibited possessor, DUI and could face additional charges, according to police. His bond was set at $10,000.

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