Vehicle in fatal hit-and-run on Loop 101 found abandoned; driver sought


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Gina Maravilla and Gibby Parra

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 6:37 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 18 at 10:40 PM

Map: Loop 101 and Guadalupe Road

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Authorities have located the vehicle involved in an early morning crash that killed one young man, injured two others and forced the closure of southbound Loop 101 in the East Valley early Friday morning.

It happened at about 3:30 a.m. at Guadalupe Road. Loop 101 was closed south of Baseline Road until shortly after 9 a.m.

According to the Department of Public Safety, witnesses saw a 2007 silver Chevy Tahoe speeding away from the scene at speeds of more than 100 mph.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves said investigators believe the weather and poor visibility were major factors in the fatal crash. Detectives are trying to piece together exactly what happened in the moments leading up to the collision.

A Chevy Cavalier was headed southbound when it was hit by the Tahoe. Aerial video showed the Cavalier sitting in the middle of the closed freeway.

The driver and his front-seat passengers, both men in their 20s, survived. They were taken to a local hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.

The young man in the back seat, the twin brother of the front-seat passenger, was killed.

Investigators have not released any information about the victims.

"We do have a situation where the detectives are really going on some eyewitness accounts," Graves said. "They did see a dark colored SUV speeding though the area at or about the time the crash occurred. Detectives are doing a walk-though of the area, picking up any clues they can, looking for evidence."

Graves said the abandoned Tahoe was found an apartment complex near 48th Street and Ray Road. The vehicle had front-end damage.

The driver has not been located.