16-Year-old hit, killed by van while jogging in San Tan Valley

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

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -- Investigators have identified the victim of a deadly van-pedestrian as a 16-year-old who was out for a morning run.

According to Sgt. Pat Ramirez of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, Jared Paul Odane was jogging along West Combs Road when a van hit him shortly after 5 a.m. Tuesday, about an hour before sunrise.

The driver, Mark Danielson, 43, told investigators that he was driving east when he heard a loud noise and his air bag deployed. He was going between 45 and 50 mph at the time.

Danielson said he stopped and used the light from his cell phone to try and find what he had hit. He called 911 as soon as he saw Jared.

Detectives said the teen was wearing dark clothes and had ear buds in his ears as he jogged along the fog line of West Combs Road, which is within a foot of the eastbound lane. Jared was running east, which means Danielson's van hit him from behind. He never saw it coming.

Jared's family told PCSO investigators that Jared regularly jogged along West Combs Road. He was training for a marathon.

"Unfortunately, many of our roadways do not have street lights or sidewalks," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "Joggers and pedestrians are reminded to travel in the opposite direction of traffic and wear light-colored clothing ...."

Ramirez said impairment does not seem to be a factor in the collision.

Danielson is not facing any charges at this point.

This is a second fatality in this area this week. On Sunday, a 18-year-old skateboarder was hit by a car. He died of his injuries Monday night. Although the driver fled the scene in that case, PCSO investigators later located the vehicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nearly 4,300 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2010.

"This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes," the CDC's Pedestrian Safety Web page reads.