Police seek driver of car that hit man pushing bike in Tempe


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Jason Volentine

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 25 at 11:18 AM

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TEMPE, Ariz. – Police are searching for a driver in a hit-and-run collision in Tempe.

A vehicle struck Justin Devalk, 21, while he was pushing his bicycle along Broadway Road just east of College Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, according to the Tempe Police Department.

There's not a sidewalk in the area.

Police said the suspect vehicle fled the scene without stopping to help the victim or notifying police of the incident.

"I remember just trying to go home after because I had no idea what happened," Devalk said.

Another driver stopped and called 911.

Devalk was hospitalized with very serious injuries to his head and arm. He underwent surgery and is recovering.

"That easily could have been fatal," Sgt. Steve Carbajal said.

Devalk is a student at Mesa Community College and has lived in Tempe for two years.

"He's got his whole life ahead of him, trying to better himself by going to school, and now he's got some major obstacles to overcome and who knows what that's going to do with schooling, what is that going to do to his job prospects for a while so he's got a lot of things ahead of him," Carbajal said.

Investigators have determined the suspect vehicle is likely a dark-colored 2001 to 2006 Chrysler Sebring or Dodge Stratus. Police said the vehicle would have sustained damage to the passenger-side mirror and possibly to the passenger side.

Police are asking for the public's help identifying and locating the driver and vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Tempe Police Department at 480-350-8311 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS, 1-800-343-TIPS. Anonymous tips can be left on the Silent Witness website, www.silentwitness.org. A cash reward is available for information leading to the arrest/indictment of the suspect.