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Fatal ATV collision prompts safety concerns in East Valley

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Two young men were killed in Mecca two weeks ago after both were involved in a crash with 2 other vehicles

They are identified as 19-year-old Victor Barajas and 17-year-old Miguel Bautista. Nallelie Diaz knew both of them. She describes her friendship with Barajas.

“Victor, I knew him. He would go to school with me and we were really close friends. He would go to my house and he was really fun to be with. Really amazing person,” Diaz said.

Diaz says Barajas loved to off-road with friends in the area.

“They liked going around in their quads here and there and they [had] fun,” Diaz said.

Barajas went off-roading with Bautista the night of November 26th. Both were riding an ATV along Avenue 66 between Johnson and Grant Streets in Mecca. They were killed when their ATV crashed with two other vehicles.

“I was really heartbroken. […] My mind was everywhere. I couldn’t believe it that he passed away with Miguel too,” Diaz said.

The crash is now a cause for concern over the dangers of ATV riding. Residents say it’s a common thing not only happening on streets, but in residential areas.

One Mecca resident says people zoom through neighborhoods.

“On this street there’s a lot of kids. Thank God they haven’t hit a child, but how they pass through is dangerous,” said one resident who did not want to be identified.

Wolf Street is just one area where residents have seen it go on. 

“I think signs are necessary but what’s more necessary is to be cautious,” said the Mecca resident.

KESQ reached out to local agencies to see where exactly ATV-riding is permitted. We have yet to hear back.

Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019 after living in San Francisco for 6 years. Learn more about Shelby here.

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