Victim identified in deadly car crash off Arizona cliff
One person was killed when this pickup truck left State Route 88 near this curve just east of Tortilla Flat on Wednesday morning. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
One man was killed and another injured after a car ran off State Route 88 and dropped more than 200 feet into a ravine just east of Tortilla Flat in the far East Valley.
The victim was identified Thursday as 22-year-old Dian Zou.
Catherine Bishop, a university spokeswoman, said Zou was a graduate student studying microbiology.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Michael Hunt was the first officer to arrive and said the crash happened just after 2 a.m. Wednesday. He said the dark blue 2003 BMW was completely demolished.
"It doesn't look like a vehicle at all," Hunt said.
Colin Williams of Rural-Metro said Zou was a University of Oklahoma student from China and was visiting a friend in the Valley for spring break and taking in the clear Arizona night on the historic scenic road. He said the Chinese Embassy had been contacted.
According to Bishop, a male passenger who survived the accident was not affiliated with the school.
The two men were following another vehicle and when the first car made a curve in the road, the BMW did not, Williams said.
The people in the first car hiked down to as close to the victims as they could get and called authorities.
The passenger in the car was flown to a Valley hospital in serious condition and told Hunt he thought he was sleeping when the accident happened.
He was still restrained by his seat belt when the BMW came to rest, but was able to free himself and crawl out of the car, Hunt said.
Alcohol was not suspected as a factor, Williams said.
Tortilla Flat, the last surviving stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail, is east of Canyon Lake in the Tonto National Forest in the Superstition Mountains.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said SR 88 was closed at milepost 218.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.