PD: Man driving stolen vehicle hits, kills pedestrian in PhoenixPosted: Updated:
An 18-year-old man was arrested Monday after he hit and killed a pedestrian while driving a stolen vehicle that was involved in an earlier hit-and-run, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
Sgt. Trent Crump said a citizen called police at about 5 p.m. Monday and reported that he was following a stolen vehicle that was driving erratically. The caller provided a plate number and police verified that it was a stolen vehicle that had been involved in a hit-and-run collision earlier in the day.
Responding officers attempted to stop the vehicle in the drive-thru of a liquor store at 47th Avenue and Indian School Road, but the driver immediately fled southbound at a high rate of speed.
"Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but when the driver fled officers terminated their effort and established stationary positions watching for the vehicle," Crump said in a news release.
Crump said the vehicle fled into a residential neighborhood and the driver failed to negotiate a curve while speeding. The vehicle went up onto the sidewalk where it struck and sheared off a wooden power pole, hit a block fence and then struck a man who was walking on the sidewalk.
The vehicle rolled over and came to rest in a residential yard after hitting a palm tree. Several other vehicles and property were damaged in the incident.
The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 33-year-old Guadalupe Roman Valdez.
Kent Boyes owns the home where the truck came to a rest along with Valdez's body. He said the situation could have ended up much worse. For starters, he said there are usually kids in the area and Boyes himself would have been in the truck's path had he not wrapped up his yard work early.
When asked if he was feeling lucky, Boyes responded, "Well, yeah, especially because I was raking right in the spot where the truck ended up, exact spot."
The driver and passenger fled the scene on foot but were taken into custody nearby.
The driver was identified as Robert Lee Mitchell Jr.
Crump said no impairment was observed by detectives.
Mitchell, who was out on bond for drug charges, was booked for first-degree murder, hit-and-run, felony flight and theft of a means of transportation.
Trevon Darnell Walker, 21, was booked for an outstanding warrant.