3 dead after pickup crashes into Phoenix canal

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Three men are dead after the pickup truck in which they were riding crashed into an irrigation canal late Sunday night.

The driver of the white 1996 GMC, which was southbound on 91st Avenue near Campbell Avenue at about 10:30 p.m., in the inside lane at a high rate speed, swerved in order to avoid a vehicle traveling in the same direction, according to Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump. 

 The evasive maneuver resulted in a loss of control with the vehicle leaving the roadway along the dirt shoulder and vaulting over the irrigation canal that runs along the west side of the roadway. The vehicle began to roll in the field adjacent to the canal, ejecting the driver and both passengers, before coming to rest upside down in the flooded canal.

Two of the men died Sunday night at the scene and a third early Monday morning after he was taken to a nearby hospital, a police spokesman said.

The driver was Erik Sanchez-Valdez, 23. The passengers were Francisco Hidalgo, 22, and Juan Guerrero, 25,

Sgt. Crump said speed was a factor in the incident, but it is unknown if impairment was a contributor at this point.

Friends and family gathered Monday to remember the men.

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