PCSO: Driver attempts to bribe deputy at scene of fatal rollover in San Tan Valley

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A 1965 Ford Roadster was fully enguled in flames and quickly exploded following a rollover in San Tan Valley. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) A 1965 Ford Roadster was fully enguled in flames and quickly exploded following a rollover in San Tan Valley. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
A 1965 Ford Roadster was fully enguled in flames and quickly exploded following a rollover in San Tan Valley. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) A 1965 Ford Roadster was fully enguled in flames and quickly exploded following a rollover in San Tan Valley. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
A 21-year-old San Tan Valley man was arrested following a fatal rollover. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) A 21-year-old San Tan Valley man was arrested following a fatal rollover. (Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office)
 A 21-year-old San Tan Valley man was arrested following a rollover collision that killed his passenger Sunday night.

Deputies from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office and emergency personnel responded to a report of a single-vehicle rollover in the area of Sun Dance Drive and Wardance Circle around 11 p.m. The caller reported the vehicle was on fire and a female passenger was trapped inside.

The 1965 Ford Roadster was fully engulfed in flames and quickly exploded, according to PCSO spokesman Jim Knupp.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames and deputies saw that there was a female dead in the front passenger's seat. The victim is believed to be a 27-year-old from San Tan Valley, but detectives are waiting for the Medical Examiner's Office to confirm her identity before her name is released.

Knupp said the driver first identified himself as Joseph Thompson but later admitted his name was Joseph Wilson. He said he lied about his name because he thought he had a warrant for his arrest out of Texas. Wilson reportedly pulled out a "wad of cash" and attempted to hand it to the deputy and said, "It doesn't have to be like this."

A witness at the scene reported that the victim, Wilson and others had been drinking alcohol at San Tan Flat. Wilson said he was giving the female a ride home in his vehicle.

"Deputies asked Wilson about the crash and his reply was he didn't know what he was going to do because that car was his life," Knupp said in a news release.

Investigators determined Wilson was driving the vehicle at 60 to 70 mph on Sun Dance Road when he lost control. The vehicle drove into the desert area, knocked down a fence, rolled over and came to rest approximately 100 feet from the roadway.

Wilson was transported to a Scottsdale hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained during the crash. A blood sample was collected and will be tested for its alcohol concentration.

After Wilson was released from the hospital, he was booked into the Maricopa County Jail for manslaughter, bribery and false reporting to a law enforcement agency.

"While Joseph Wilson may have thought his car was the most important thing in his life, he will soon realize his decision to get behind the wheel of his vehicle while impaired by alcohol and causing a crash, which claimed the life of his passenger will be the worst decision he could have made," Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a news release.