Deadly stabbing, crash close portion of Loop 101 in Peoria

The Arizona Department of Public Safety responded to a crash and deadly stabbing Friday, March 22, 2019 in Peoria. (Arizona DPS)

A woman is dead and a man is in the hospital following a crash and subsequent stabbing along a freeway in Peoria.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the incident started before 7 a.m. Friday along Loop 101 Agua Fria between Grand Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

DPS received multiple calls of a crash and a stabbing at the location. Peoria police were among the first law enforcement to arrive, where they found a scene described as “quite chaotic.”

Around 10 or so witnesses had stopped to break up an altercation between a woman in her 30s and a man in his 20s.

DPS Trooper Kameron Lee said the man reportedly stabbed the woman after the crash had occurred.

Bystanders along with authorities were able to separate the man from the woman. DPS arrived shortly after the man was taken into custody.

The occupants were taken to separate hospitals. The woman was pronounced dead. The man has some minor, non-life threatening injuries.

He was later released from the hospital and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault. He was identified as Fernando Acosta, 25, of Phoenix.

Motorists were being diverted off the freeway at Peoria Avenue. DPS expected the freeway to be closed for most of the day but the Arizona Department of Transportation tweeted the reopening before 4 p.m.

It appears a vehicle drove off the freeway, crossed a canal, and crashed into a fence.

It was not immediately known what led to the crash. The woman has not been identified.

DPS said it was investigating reports of a shooting at the scene, but said it had not found any shells casings along the road. However, a witness video appears to show a shooting from one of the bystanders towards the male suspect. DPS did not describe the type of injuries the man sustained, only indicating they may have come from the crash.

Some witnesses remained at the scene more than two hours after the incident.

“Peoria PD actually brought out a service dog that helps out in times of stress,” Mr. Lee said about helping witnesses cope. “It’s a golden retriever. They brought it out to help the witnesses as they’re kind of thinking about everything and piecing together everything that happened.

“If they have continual issues we can help them,” Mr. Lee continued. “They just need to reach out to us and let us know what they’re going through and what they need, and we can have our detectives reach out to them.”

The 91st Avenue on-ramp to Loop 101 at Cactus Road had an Arizona Department of Transportation vehicle blocking the entry as of noon Friday.

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