Peterbilt truck kills bicyclist in hit-and-run

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Police are searching for the truck that hit and killed a bicyclist early Tuesday morning.

It happened at about 6 a.m. on 59th Avenue at Latham Street which is just south of Interstate 10.

According to witnesses, a tan Peterbilt with dark fenders and a white box trailer hit a Hispanic man who was riding a bike. Those witnesses said the driver of that truck then left the scene.

Aerial video showed a stopped semi. Police said that driver stopped to help the bicyclist.

"He put his truck in a position to try to shield that individual ," said Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as Jose Ortiz-Arenas, 45.

Police closed 59th Avenue from the freeway down to Roosevelt Street while officers conducted their investigation. That closure is expected to remain in place until noon.


3TV traffic reporter Gina Maravilla said the Phoenix Police Department contacted the Department of Public Safety, alerting officers to watch the freeways for that tan Peterbilt. Investigators did not have any additional information about the truck or its driver.

Peterbilt Motors Company specializes in medium- and heavy-duty Class 5 (similar to a Ford F-550) through Class 8 (a tractor-trailer) trucks.

If you see that suspect vehicle, you're asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151.