Man pleads not guilty in Chandler hit-and-run

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Nathan Joseph Painter By Andrew Michalscheck Nathan Joseph Painter By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Tempe man accused of causing a collision in Chandler and fleeing the scene has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Nathan Joseph Painter, 43, was charged with eight counts, including endangerment, aggravated assault, hit-and-run and aggravated DUI following the Oct. 26 collision.

Painter entered his plea Monday morning. His next court date is an initial pretrial conference on Jan. 14.

Chandler police said Painter lost control of his pickup truck on Ray Road, went over the sidewalk and down into a retention basin. The vehicle then went airborne and struck a Nissan Pathfinder that was traveling on Arrowhead Drive.

The Pathfinder rolled twice after the collision.

Painter drove away from the scene, but witnesses followed him until he eventually stopped.

Police said two 3-year-old boys inside the Pathfinder suffered serious injuries. A 2-year-old girl and the 61-year-old driver suffered minor injuries. Painter's girlfriend also was injured.

Police said impairment was a factor in the crash.