Police: Alcohol likely a factor in fatal car-pedestrian wreck

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TEMPE, Ariz. – One person is dead and an injured driver is facing a murder charge after a car-pedestrian wreck in Tempe Monday morning.

It happened shortly before 7 a.m. on Hardy Drive south of Baseline Road.

According to Sgt. Steve Carbajal of the Tempe Police Department, John Larson, 62, of Cambridge, Minn., was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said Pedro C. Ruiz of Phoenix was behind the wheel of the Jeep Liberty that hit Larson.

Ruiz did not stop after the accident, continuing south on Hardy Drive. He stopped only when he hit the block wall of a patio area of three condominiums not far from the wreck scene.

While the building was damaged, nobody inside was hurt.

Ruiz, 23, suffered serious injuries when his Jeep hit the wall, and was taken to a local hospital.

Carbajal said investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the wreck. The investigation is ongoing.

Once Ruiz is released from the hospital, he will be booked into Maricopa County Jail on one count of second-degree murder.