Deadly hit-and-run crash at Glendale canal arrest

The suspect is Rudy A. Valdez Herrera, left, and the victim is 50-year-old Leauna Christensen, right.

GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Glendale police say they arrested the man who ran a red light and caused a deadly hit-and-run crash at a canal last week. Rudy A. Valdez Herrera, 23, self-surrendered on Wednesday and he was booked into jail on the felony charge of failure to remain on scene of a fatal accident.

On March 30, just before 1 a.m., investigators say Valdez Herrera was driving on Maryland Avenue when he didn't stop for a red light and slammed into a pickup truck heading south on 99th Avenue. The impact caused the truck to roll and it landed inside the canal. The driver of the truck, 50-year-old Leauna Christensen, died. Witnesses say they saw Valdez Herrera walking away from the crash.

Police said he left his wallet in his car so officers showed up at his home and he was arrested. Police say while he was being processed at the department's jail, he asked for medical attention so he was taken to the hospital. Since police missed the 24-hour window to see a judge on the charge, Valdez Herrera was released. Police said after getting advice from his lawyer, he gave himself up to police on Wednesday.

Investigators say they're looking into whether impairment had been a factor. Additional criminal charges could be coming, police said.


Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you