Teen accused of strangling mom before fatal wreck in Phoenix

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PHOENIX – A teenage boy is facing homicide charges after allegedly strangling his mother to death before being involved in a fatal red-light-running crash.

Police responded to the scene of a collision Wednesday before 6 a.m. in the intersection of 43rd Avenue and Buckeye Road.

Nathan Ferlet, 16, was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed heading eastbound on Buckeye Road when he went through a red light and struck another vehicle.

He was in a 2010 Ford Focus with his 41-year-old mother, Tina Ferlet, in the front passenger seat along with his 74-year-old grandmother and another 20-year-old woman in the back seat.

It was determined that Tina, of Oklahoma, had died at the scene of the crash but police now say they believe she was strangled by her son prior to the crash.

During the investigation, it was determined that the teen’s mother and grandmother had picked him up in California and were taking him to seek help for mental problems.

Police say that as the grandmother drove, the teen began to choke his mother. The grandmother pulled into a convenience store near 35th Avenue and Roosevelt where she asked the clerk to call 911 because someone was being choked in the car.

Nathan reportedly got into the driver’s seat as the grandmother got back into the car and he drove away, causing the wreck at 43rd Avenue and Buckeye Road.

The 46-year-old man driving the truck that was hit by the teen’s car, as well as the 20-year-old female and grandmother, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to a local hospital.

Nathan is being held in a hospital due to his injuries sustained in the wreck. He is expected to be charged with killing his mother.