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PCSD: Driver involved in southside crash that left one dead was fleeing traffic stop

TUCSON (KVOA) - The vehicle involved in Sunday's fatal crash on the south side was reportedly fleeing from Pima County Sheriff's Department, according to a release shared Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Tucson Police Department shared that a 1998 Jeep Cherokee and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu were involved in a crash at the intersection of Bilby Road and Campbell Avenue at around 12:40 a.m. Sunday.

TPD said the driver of the Jeep, later identified as 39-year-old Jesus Ismael Rodriguez, reportedly did not stop for a red light at the intersection, prompting the collision into the Chevrolet.

Rodriguez, who was said to be impaired at the time of the crash, was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

On Tuesday, PCSD shared that the Jeep reportedly involved in this crash was spotted by a deputy driving at excessive speed near Valencia and Country Club roads just after midnight that Sunday.

The deputy requested PCSD air unit to assist in the incident before attempting to stop the vehicle.

The air unit spotted the Jeep at about 12:30 a.m., according to PCSD. The deputy then attempted a traffic stop. The Jeep reportedly entered an apartment complex parking lot at 6200 S. Campbell Ave. The driver briefly stopped and then fled, PCSD says.

PCSD said the deputy did not pursue the Jeep in accordance with the department's policy.

Shortly after fleeing the stop, the Jeep then reportedly collided with the Chevrolet at the southside intersection.

The driver of the Chevrolet involved in the crash, 24-year-old Reina Alexis Cota, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another occupant of the Chevrolet was also transported to the hospital for further treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

According to TPD, Rodriguez was booked into the Pima County Jail on second-degree murder, aggravated assault, endangerment and criminal damage charges.

Additional charges are pending, according to TPD.

PCSD is conducting a separate investigation in regards to the traffic stop.

Stay with News 4 Tucson for the latest updates.

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Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Producer for KVOA- News 4 Tucson. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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