I-10 speeder leads DPS on brief chase resulting in crash

Photo courtesy Arizona DPS

Chris Caraveo
Independent Newsmedia

A man who sped on a Valley freeway and swerved in and out of traffic was arrested after fleeing from his crashed vehicle.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety arrested Luis Enrique Cortez, 21, on Wednesday on charges including unlawful flight from a vehicle, resisting arrest, endangerment, failure to stay at the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license/plate.

The incident began around 2:50 p.m., when a DPS trooper saw a vehicle driving recklessly while eastbound on Interstate 10 under the tunnel near 3rd Street. Records show the vehicle was driving more than 77 mph and switching lanes without signals.

The trooper ran the plate number, revealing it as suspended. The vehicle would stop along the freeway near 16th Street. The trooper noticed two occupants in the front, including Mr. Cortez, without seatbelts. When the trooper exited his vehicle, Mr. Cortez took off in his own along the right shoulder at a high rate of speed, records state.

This story first appeared in the Daily News-Sun May 25 edition. Read more by subscribing at http://dailynewssun.az.newsmemory.com/.

Luis Cortez (MCSO)

DPS then pursued the vehicle from I-10 to State Route 51. Mr. Cortez again swerved in and out of traffic and ultimately got trapped in the far right lane. He then drove in the shoulder lane. While there, the vehicle’s tire hit a barrier wall and lost control. It then slid across SR51 and T-boned another vehicle near the McDowell Road exit. Mr. Cortez’s vehicle stopped, so he exited and ran north in the middle of the freeway.

The initial trooper drove next to Mr. Cortez for a few seconds before exiting and taking him to the ground.

Mr. Cortez identified himself and later told authorities he fled because he thought he was going to jail for his suspended license anyways.

The driver of the other vehicle did not sustain any injuries, DPS said on Thursday.

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