PD: Stolen car went airborne in fatal wreck

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by Catherine Holland

Raw video (There is no audio on this clip)

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Map: 31st Avenue and Encanto Blvd.

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PHOENIX -- A suspected car thief is dead after driving car into some concrete barriers in the area of 31st Avenue and Encanto Boulevard early Thursday morning.

According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department, the car was reported stolen from 4800 W. Encanto shortly before 4:30 a.m.

Both aerial and ground video from the scene show the mangled car, a 1986 Buick National, on its side.

The driver, an unidentified Hispanic male believed to be in his early 20s, was speeding east on Encanto Boulevard when he failed to negotiation the turn where the roadway bends on to southbound 31st Avenue.

"There's a concrete barrier there with some signage," explained Phoenix Police Lt. Chris Moore.

The car hit that concrete barrier went airborne, flying over a 7-foot chain-link fence before landing in a dirt lot. The Buick burst into flames on impact.

Bystanders ran to the car and put out the fire, but they were not able to save the driver.

Moore said the driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car. That man died at the scene.

While it's not yet clear is alcohol or drugs were a factor in the deadly crash, Moore said speed is likely partially to blame.

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