PHOENIX – A woman is dead and a toddler and a man are seriously injured after a bad wreck at a major Phoenix intersection early Tuesday morning. Police believe alcohol might have been a factor in the crash.
It happened at about 5 a.m. at 19th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.
Police taped off a large portion of 19th Avenue, closing the road between Durango Street (just north of U.S. 60 and Interstate 17) and Baseline Road for more than six hours.
Video from the scene showed a dark blue Dodge Magnum with severe front-end damage sitting in the middle of 19th Avenue.
According to Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump, police believe that Magnum ran a red light and broadsided a Chevy Cobalt that was about to make a left turn on to 19th Avenue. Crump said the Magnum had momentum when it hit the Cobalt, which apparently was just starting to move. The driver's side of the Cobalt bore the brunt of the impact.
"The Magnum was driven by a 30-year-old female who we have in custody this morning," Crump said. T
That woman has been identified as Elizabel Carrillo Escareno. She did not appear to be injured. Escareno was given a field sobriety test at the scene and then taken away in handcuffs.
Crump told 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell that at this point officers believe alcohol or drugs might have been factors in the deadly crash.
"Officers here recognized some signs and symptoms of impairment," Crump explained. "We will take her to one of our facilities where we will do further tests."
Crump said Tuesday afternoon that Escareno was booked on one count of manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault.
Nicole Gillum, 27, was driving the Cobalt. She was taken to St. Joesph's Hospital where she died of her injuries. A 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl were in the back seat of the car. The toddler is in extremely critical condition. The little girl is in serious condition.
A 27-year-old man who was in the front passenger seat of the Cobalt was seriously injured, as well, but his condition was not immediately available.
Investigators are still piecing together what happened in the moments leading up to the wreck and are working to determine if impairment was indeed a factor in the crash.