SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The man accused of texting while driving moments before hitting and killing a Salt River police officer was released from jail after posting bond Thursday morning.
He made his initial court appearance Wednesday evening.
Bail for 40-year-old Jerry Sanstead was set at $100,000. It was a secured appearance bond, which means he only had to post 10 percent of that.
Sanstead is facing charges including manslaughter in connection with the Tuesday night wreck that killed Officer Clayton Townsend.
The crash happened just after 6 p.m. on the northbound side of the Loop 101 near McDowell Road.
According to the Department of Public Safety, Townsend had just pulled over a driver for expired registration.
While Townsend was standing at the driver's side door of the white passenger vehicle he stopped, a black passenger vehicle entered the right-side emergency lane and collided with the white passenger vehicle and then hit the officer.
Townsend sustained head trauma in the crash and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:35 p.m.
The driver of the vehicle that was initially pulled over was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"Officer Clayton was one of my most dedicated, loyal and committed officers on my department," said Salt River Police Department Chief Karl Auerbach. "He was truly a guardian of the people."
Sanstead stayed on the scene as required by law.
According to DPS, Sanstead told detectives he was texting when his vehicle struck the police officer. A witness told DPS that Sanstead's vehicle crossed over two traffic lanes before hitting the officer.
Sanstead, who has no previous record, was arrested and booked into jail for manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment. His attorney told a judge Sanstead is a licensed massage therapist and is married with children. He's due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 17.
While Sanstead was booked on suspicion of manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment, it will be up to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to decide what charges to file against him.
According to MCAO spokeswoman Amanda Steele that takes 48 hours for suspects who are in custody.
Because Sanstead has posted bond and been released, Steele said MCAO should review the case within 30 days of when it was submitted.
"A charging review can result in the formal filing of charges, a return of the case to law enforcement for further investigation or additional forensic analysis, or a turn down," she explained in an email response to questions from Arizona's Family.
Police say Townsend leaves behind a wife and a 10-month-old child. He had served on the police force for five years.
[SLIDESHOW: The Townsend family]
"He was known by all to be caring and compassionate," said Auerbach.
Auerbach praised Townsend's work ethic.
"Ofc. Townsend was doing what he decided to do, to be a servant of the people, to be a guardian of the people, to serve and protect, and tragically this evening, he lost his life doing his job," said Auerbach.
Gov. Doug Ducey offered his condolences in a tweet, saying flags would be at half-staff on Wednesday.
The Arizona Department of Transportation closed the northbound Loop 101 from Loop 202 Red Mountain to McKellips Road because of the crash.
The road was reopened just before 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
How you can help
Arizona's Family has teamed up with 100 Club of Arizona, a nonprofit organization that assists first responders, to raise money for fallen Salt River Officer Clayton Townsend's family.
You can make a donation by texting the word Fallen to 243725. You will receive a link that will allow to enter the amount of your donation and your credit card information. Standard message rates apply.
If you prefer to make a contribution in person, you can do so at a car wash Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., in the parking lot of North Valley Christian Academy, 33655 N. 27th Dr. in Phoenix.
Gerber Injury Law and North Valley Christian Academy will be accepting donations at the event. All proceeds will got to Townsend's family.
The Salt River Police Department established a memorial fund Wednesday evening to benefit Officer Townsend's family. You can donate to the Townsend Benefit Memorial Fund through Wells Fargo Bank at Account Number: 3535835825.
**UPDATE** All lanes and ramps have reopened. https://t.co/oJ1m3S8mZg— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) January 9, 2019
Saddened to hear of this tragic loss. My prayers go out to the family and loved ones of the Salt River Police Officer killed in the line of duty tonight. Tomorrow all state flags will be lowered to half-staff to honor his life and service. #RIP https://t.co/a6sXIUK745— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 9, 2019
UPDATE on L-101 NB crash at McKellips Road: The L-202 east- and westbound on-ramps to the 101 are closed. L-101 NB also closed; the Rio Salado on-ramp from the northbound L-101 is closed. All NB 101 tfx must get off at 202. No estimated time to reopen. #aztraffic pic.twitter.com/VdyLEnDWdb— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) January 9, 2019
I am sorry to report the death of a Salt River Tribal Police Officer tonight. Details are still being realized, but it appears he was struck and killed by a car, while on a traffic stop on SR101 near McDowell Rosd. @Arizona_DPS Troopers are conducting the investigation.— Col. Frank Milstead (@frank_milstead) January 9, 2019