Sheriff sticks to story of throttle stick

May 30, 2005 at 11:40 AM
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PHOENIX, May 30 (UPI) -- A Phoenix sheriff insists damage to a car he was driving was caused by a sticky throttle, despite a mechanic's analysis to the contrary.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was behind the wheel April 2 of his 2001 Crown Victoria when it jumped a curb in Fountain Hills and hit a giant boulder, causing $7,227.21 worth of damage, mainly to its undercarriage and wheel support, the Arizona Republic reported Monday.

A notation on the repair log asks the mechanic to check for "throttle sticking," meaning whether the accelerator cable was frayed or whether something was making the car act as if the gas pedal were being pressed.

The investigating mechanic later wrote he had not found any signs of anything like throttle sticking and that, in fact, the vehicle's "over rev limiter" had been triggered. That device starts shutting down the car, cylinder by cylinder, if the engine is turning dangerously fast.

Still, Arpaio is sticking with his story.

"It lurched and I couldn't stop it and I just kept going," Arpaio said.

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