Teens killed in collision with tree in north Phoenix identified

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PHOENIX -- Two teens are dead after the pickup truck they were in crashed into a tree early Friday morning.

It happened at about 3:30 a.m. on 32nd Street just north of Shea Boulevard and south of Cactus Road.

According to Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department, investigators believe the driver, identified as 16-year-old Elpidio Mendoza, Jr., was heading north on 32nd Street when he apparently lost control of his pickup, crossed the center line and plowed into a tree on the west side of the street.

A passenger, identified as 16-year-old William Davenport, was pronounced dead at the scene. Mendoza was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Martos said it's possible that the fog and slick roads might have been factors in the crash.

"That's certainly something we're going to look into," Martos said. "Speed may also be a factor."

Martos said detectives have not determined whether the driver might have been impaired, emphasizing that it's too early in the investigation to know exactly what happened.

Both teens were former students at Shadow Mountain High School in the Paradise Valley School District.