Deadly car crash sparks cancellation for Creighton Elementary School


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 17 at 3:32 PM

Map: Creighton Elementary School

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PHOENIX -- A deadly single-car wreck took out a power pole near Creighton Elementary School, forcing school officials to cancel classes for the day.

It happened at about 1 a.m Monday on McDowell Road near 26th Street in Phoenix. McDowell Road was closed between 26th and 30th streets for hours.

APS crews have been working to install a new power pole and repair the fallen lines to get electricity up and running to the neighborhood, including the school. It's not clear when that work will be complete.

Creighton Elementary is a K-8 school. Classes normally start at 7:25 a.m. Just an hour before the scheduled start, school officials said classes had been canceled for the day. That cancellation is only for Creighton Elementary School.

Drivers were urged to avoid the area, using either Thomas Road or Loop 202 to get around the scene.

According to Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos, investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash.

The car was eastbound on McDowell Road when the driver, now identified as Yusef Rashid Ahmad Watkins-Hill, apparently lost control and crossed the center line.

The car hit a power pole, a sign and a fire hydrant before coming to rest on a retaining wall by the school.

Watkins-Hill, 31, was pronounced dead on the scene.