Phoenix police identify woman killed in hit-and-run

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Anna Blaze By Jennifer Thomas Anna Blaze By Jennifer Thomas
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A woman is dead after a hit-and-run crash between a car and pedestrian in Phoenix Sunday evening.

According to Phoenix police, Anna Blaze, 41, was walking east down Northern Avenue near 11th Street around 5 p.m. The suspect's car came from behind, jumped the curb and slammed into the woman, knocking her shoes off and sending debris flying 30 to 40 yards.

Blaze was rushed to the hospital in extremely critical condition. Sgt. Trent Crump of the Phoenix Police Department said she died early Monday morning, less than 24 hours after the out-of-control car plowed into her.

Blaze was with a second woman at the time of the crash. That second woman, Karla, was not hit.

Both women were roommates at a nearby domestic violence shelter, out for a walk and some shopping.

“She was really excited and she was so happy,” said Karla. “She was so happy she said, 'Karla let's go let's go outside let's go it's a beautiful day it's perfect to go for a walk and go shopping.'”

Karla said her friend was already nervous about the cars speeding by and so the two were going to walk in a single file line on the sidewalk but never had a chance.

"The car, I could hear the tires the sound of the tires behind us," Karla said.

She said she checked to see if her friend was still breathing and she was so she ran after the car stopped at 12th Street but by the time she caught up the light turned green and the car was gone.

Two witnesses told police the suspect is a middle-aged man driving a red, late '70s or '80s European-style convertible – possibly a Fiat. Police said a side mirror broke off the passenger door and was found at the scene.

A helicopter search of the area right after the crash didn’t turn up any suspects.

Crump said the owner of the vehicle came forward Monday and the car was taken to the Phoenix police crime lab. The man, whose name has not been released, has not been named as a suspect.

Anyone with information about who might have been driving the vehicle on Sunday afternoon is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness.