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76-year-old Tucson man killed when pickup runs into ditch

A man was killed when his truck drove through a guardrail and into a drainage ditch overnight on Tucson's East Side, authorities said. Frank Gamez, 76, was pronounced dead at the scene near East 5th Street and North Harrison Road.

Around 2:15 a.m. Thursday, Gamez was driving south in the 500 block of North Igo Way when his 2002 Ford F-250 went through a guardrail and into a drainage ditch that splits the road down the center.

Gamez "did not follow the curve in the roadway and drove through the guardrail and into the drainage ditch approximately 8 feet below," a Tucson Police Department spokesman said.

Speed does not appear to have been a factor in the crash. Gamez, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was not wearing his seatbelt, Sgt. Pete Dugan said.

Although Tucson Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, "the driver was pronounced deceased shortly after their arrival," Dugan said.

Gamez, whose next of kin have been notified of his death, was the 26th person to die on Tucson's streets so far in 2017.

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Tucson traffic deaths, year to date

Total for 2016: 18 Total for 2017: 26
Pedestrian: 2 Pedestrian: 12
Bicycle: 1 Bicycle: 1
Motorcycle: 5 Motorcycle: 6