Police: Speed, marijuana a factor in fatal hit-and-run - New York News

Police: Speed, marijuana a factor in fatal hit-and-run in south Phoenix

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Fidel Ortiz Fidel Ortiz
PHOENIX -

About 1 p.m. Tuesday, a woman was killed in a hit-and-run crash at 13th Ave and Pima.

Fire crews had to use the Jaws of Life to get to the victim, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

She was identified as 51-year-old Sara M. Esparza.

According to police, Esparza may not have come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and proceeded into the path of a white Dodge Charger, which was traveling at a high rate of speed.

"This is a residential neighborhood with a 25 mph limit, and there are indications from witnesses the vehicle may have been doing twice that this afternoon," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.

After the crash, the driver of the Charger took off on foot. That driver was found hiding in a relative's backyard. A witness directed police to his location.

"This is an individual that went someone, hid from officers and did not call police," said Crump.

Police say the driver, identified as 18-year-old Fidel Ortiz, showed signs of recently ingesting marijuana.

Ortiz is facing charges of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal traffic collision, and aggravated DUI (revoked/suspended license).

Esparza was wearing a seatbelt.

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