MCSO identifies victims in 2 deadly crashes caused by same driver

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 4 at 4:26 PM

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PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has identified the victims and the 73-year-old driver from two separate fatal accidents Wednesday morning.

Sheriff's officials said Marie Blandford, of Payson, was driving her SUV near Bush Highway and Usery Pass Road in the Tonto National Forest when she hit and killed a female bicyclist.

The bicyclist has been identified as Clare Louis Kirby, 46, of Mesa.

Blandford continued driving and witnesses followed her to Ellsworth and McKellips roads where she ran a red light and crashed into another vehicle.

The driver of that car, William Phillips, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Blandford is listed in stable condition at a Phoenix-area hospital.

Deputies are trying to determine if she was impaired or has a medical condition.

Charges are pending at this time.

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