James Morang Arrested in Saturday's Fiery Loop 101 Crash That Killed Three

Categories: Crime Blotter
morang james suspect.JPG
Image: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
James Morang, 32, caused the deaths of three people on the Loop 101 early Saturday after he drunkenly rear-ended an SUV while speeding, cops say.

A suspected drunk driver speeding north on the Loop 101 slammed his Hyundai into the back of an SUV early Saturday morning, killing the three people inside.

Authorities still aren't sure whether the victims in the SUV died from the impact or resulting explosion and fire

 Their bodies were severely burned, says Captain Steve Harrison of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. All three were from Arizona, but their identities likely won't be released until later this week.

The Hyundai had been traveling at a high rate of speed at about 1:35 a.m. when it came up on the SUV near the Indian School exit. The investigation was continuing on Monday, but Harrison says it appears that the lower-profile Hyundai car slipped under the bumper of the mid-sized, 1997 Chevrolet SUV and hit the gas tank. Both vehicles rolled as the SUV burst into flame.

The driver of the Hyundai, 32-year-old James Morang of Litchfield Park, was treated and released at a hospital for a broken left hand.


The first cop on the scene smelled booze on Morang's breath. Lab work later determined that Morang had a blood-alcohol level of .129 at the time of the collision.

Morang works in "education management," according to court records.

Police are seeking three counts of murder.






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14 comments
Petey Pablo
Petey Pablo

Lots of people drink and drive and this looks like an unfortunate situation.  I definately don't think its right but I would like to hear how this accident actually happened.  This is a zero tolerance state and they will probably not go easy on him.  It's a shame it happened and everyone should learn a lesson from this. 

AnnoyedNAZ
AnnoyedNAZ

I have no respect for the media. They should have refrained from identifing this individual until they had solid facts. It has happened before, that the Police have recreated a scene and been wrong about the speed, impairment, the guilty party. It was 1:30AM...No one was on the road and if you are at that time, with three adults in a vehicle, you were most likely drinking also. We've all done it...Left Happy Hour or a DBack's game with a Smirnoff or two in us...Because the deceased are the "victims," no one is mentioned that they were speeding or impaired. It's pretty difficult to hit another vehicle when there is no one on the road or the freeway at that time of day. Let's uncover all the facts before we judge!!

Roro
Roro

He is suspected of "driving while impaired." A nice 25 to life sentence should cure his drinking problem, at least for a while.

Marcy
Marcy

I'll just chalk it up to three more victims of the anti-speed camera crowd who insisted that they should have the right to speed and not get caught by those pretty efficient and merciless speed cameras and Jan Brewski who couldn't figure out a way to have the speed cameras just take pictures of illegal immigrant speeders so she banned them as too efficient enforcers of speeding laws.

The speed limit on that section of the 101 is 55mph because of construction of the car pool lanes.  People routinely are driving 75+ during rush hour.  Naturally there is a wide disparity in speed as some people actually make some attempt to obey the law while others think laws are something only Mexican immigrants should be concerned with.  The speed cameras substantially reduced that disparity in speed.

OrangeCountyCalifornia
OrangeCountyCalifornia

AnnoyedNAZ, you sound like an idiot and an apologist for drunk drivers.  Plus your slandering of the victims of whom you don't know jack shit about just proves you must be a drunk driver yourself.

Tim Hanner
Tim Hanner

"It's pretty difficult to hit another vehicle when there is no one on the road or the freeway at that time of day." I would look at this sentence and say "Not if you are fucked up or can't drive for shit." Assuming that anyone on the road after midnight must be drinking is a gem!  I will stretch that further and say "Anyone out after dark MUST be a criminal!" See how moronic that sounds?

guest
guest

the 3 people in the car that blew up were nt drunk they were comeing back from work nd wtf does a d back game have anything to do with this i hope the guy gets life in jail nd never sees day light again

Happyjoyessandfree
Happyjoyessandfree

This could be anybody. I feel bad for the loss of life. This isnt the time to point fingers. People died and I am sure James never in his wildest dreams thought this would happen. Judge lest you be judged.

Coz
Coz

Right, like speed camera's would have stopped drinking and driving. Get off the speed camera rod.

guest3
guest3

Did you even read the article? How do cameras stop the car at that moment from speeding? Definitely need to do some reading before you post pointless comments like this on a BS issue, rather then on what it should be about people making terrible decisions and getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Nate
Nate

Carpool lanes were finished LAST YEAR. You're thinking of the Glendale portion of the 101.  This is Scottsdale.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Brilliant comment Marcy.    And as we all know the speed cameras stopped every drunk driver from speeding because even though they were drunk and in violation of that Uniform Commercial Code, they always used to slow down in order not to violate the speeding Uniform Commercial Code.   

GoingBackToMyBeerNow
GoingBackToMyBeerNow

Uh, and a speed camera would have prevented this how? The guy was trashed. You could put tanks by the side of the road and he would have done it anyway.

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