Mother killed by wrong-way driver on Loop 202 identifiedPosted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- A wrong-way driver hit and killed a Valley mother on Loop 202 overnight.
It happened at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on the eastbound Loop 202 near Mesa Drive.
According to investigators, a Jeep traveling at about 100 mph blew past an unmarked police vehicle on the U.S. 60. Police have identified the driver as Anthony Dose, 25. It's not clear why Dose was speeding; nobody was pursuing him at the time.
The officers started to follow that vehicle. The Jeep got off U.S. 60 at Higley Road, but Dose did not take the off-ramp. Instead, he reportedly drove up the dirt side of the freeway and over the berm.
The officers called in their helicopter after losing sight of the Jeep. The chopper caught up with him as he drove erratically through Mesa for nearly half an hour.
"At that point, there were no officers behind the suspect vehicle," said Sgt. Ed Wessing of the Mesa Police Department. "We were not in any kind of pursuit."
Dose ran several red lights and cut through a number of alleyways, sometimes turning off his headlights, Wessing said.
At one point, officers did throw out Stop Sticks, but Dose was able to go around them.
The suspect then got on Loop 202 at Gilbert Road going the wrong direction. The Jeep plowed head-on into a car driven by Michelle Pagano, 36, a Mesa resident, who was on her way to pick up her daughter. Pagano died at the scene.
Dose suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital. At last check, he was in stable condition and was expected to recover.
Police are awaiting toxicology results to determine if alcohol or drugs were factors in the wreck.
Dose has a criminal history that includes drug charges, burglary and car theft.
Wessing said Dose is facing a charge of manslaughter in connection with the deadly wreck. Other charges could be filed once police have completed their investigation.