Victim's girlfriend arrested in fatal hit-and-run

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- A woman has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left her boyfriend dead, according to police.

Brittney Nolan, 20, was booked on one count of leaving the scene of a fatal collision.

The crash occurred in a neighborhood near Carefree Highway and 27th Avenue.

Police say 20-year-old Jacob Rice was walking south in the area of 34000 North 27th Drive early Saturday morning when he was struck by a southbound black Nissan. Investigators believe he was walking in the bike lane.

The 2010 Nissan Sentra then reportedly fled southbound on 27th Drive. Police say the driver did not notify authorities or render aid.

A jogger found Rice's body around 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning and called police.

Investigators found pieces of the car at the scene, which appeared to be from a door or window frame.

Police located the Nissan in the nearby Canyon Crossroads apartment complex Saturday afternoon, and detained Nolan for questioning.

"I could see that the air bag had been deployed; that the side of the car is dented in,” said Lissette Morales, who lives in the complex.

Police said Nolan showed no signs of impairment that afternoon but admitted to consuming some alcohol overnight at a desert party.

She reportedly told investigators she and Rice got into an argument on the way home and he walked away from the car.

According to police, Nolan also said she accessed her cellphone while she was out looking for Rice and lost control of the car, swerving into the shoulder area. She said she thought she hit some sort of pole and kept driving.

"They were young and they had kind of a fiery relationship," Morales said. "My roommate said that she saw notes on their car, said she could tell they'd been fighting."

Police obtained a search warrant for the Nissan and turned it over to a forensics lab.

The collision is still under investigation, and police say additional charges could be filed.

Rice's friends visited the scene of the crash Sunday, leaving photos, messages and candles in memory of the man, whom they described as fun and loving.