Police looking for U-Haul driver following hit-and-run crash in Tempe


by Andrew Michalscheck

Video report by Natalie Brand

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 1:48 PM

Map: Baseline and Hardy

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police are looking for the man who was behind the wheel of a U-Haul truck that was involved in a hit-and-run crash Thursday afternoon.

According to police, the rental truck was heading eastbound on Baseline Road when it hit the rear of a pickup truck near Hardy Drive.

The impact caused the pickup truck to sideswipe a third vehicle that was also heading east on Baseline.

A passenger in the pickup truck suffered what police are calling very serious injuries.

Tiffany Quorp who works nearby saw the aftermath of the crash. The U-Haul truck caught fire following impact.

"We saw the fire, ran over here," said Quorp. "Those guys (in the other truck) were trapped in the car and they were trying to pull them out, and they were unconscious."

Witnesses say they saw the driver of the U-haul, a rented vehicle, grab a bag from the vehicle and take off on foot.

"We're looking in a hit-and-run charge that could result in death, so we're taking this very seriously," said Sgt. Steve Carbajal of Tempe police.

Police tell 3TV detectives are following leads to track down the driver. Meanwhile, the owner of the truck hit said the two men inside happened to be test-driving his vehicle at the time of the crash.

"How horrible," said Quorp. "I hope they're okay. Unbelievable. I can't believe that man ran."

The suspect is described as an African-American male with short, black hair. He’s said to be in his 20’s or 30’s and weighs between 185-190 lbs.

The driver was last seen wearing a long-sleeved beige shirt and dark pants.

Police said it’s too early to determine if impairment was a factor in the crash.

Police have not updated the condition of the passenger hospitalized.