UPDATE: Three killed in early morning Tucson crash

Three people were killed in an early morning crash in Tucson.
Three people were killed in an early morning crash in Tucson.(13 News)
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 7:02 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Three people were killed in an early morning crash on September 23 in Tucson.

TPD says officers responded to the scene in the area of Grant and Palo Verde about 3:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a collision involving an Audi and a Toyota.

When first responders arrived at the scene, seven people were identified as being involved in the crash and additional medical personnel were requested.

Authorities said the driver of the Toyota, 31-year-old Ronald Cook, and the passenger of the Toyota, 35-year-old Kristina Orantez died at the scene.

According to police, there were five total occupants in the Audi: an adult male driver, two adult male passengers, and two adult female passengers. Three passengers of the Audi were transported to local hospitals with life-threatening injuries, including 19-year-old Xiomara Encinas-Cruz.

After arriving at the hospital, Encinas-Cruz passed away from her injuries.

The families of the three deceased individuals have been notified.

The TPD said the driver and one other passenger of the Audi sustained minor injuries and were taken to local hospitals.

After the investigation, detectives determined that the Audi was traveling eastbound on E. Grant Rd. at a high rate of speed and without headlights on.

At the same time, the Toyota was traveling northbound on N. Palo Verde Rd., failed to stop for the stop sign, and was attempting to cross E. Grant Rd. when the two vehicles collided, according to police.

An officer from the Impaired Driver Enforcement Unit responded to the hospital to evaluate the driver of the Audi for impairment. The driver did have alcohol in his system; however, it did not rise to the level of impairment as determined by Arizona State Law.

Tucson police said speeding and driving without headlights by the Audi, along with failure to stop for a stop sign by the Toyota, are the major contributing factors of the crash.

Authorities said the investigation is onging. Detectives will present the case to the Pima County Attorney’s Office to determine if formal charges will be issued.

The investigation is ongoing.

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