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Police: Impaired driver killed bicyclist in hit-and-run

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Police: Impaired driver killed bicyclist in hit-and-run

  • Eric Joseph Corral
    TPD Eric Joseph Corral

A Tucson man riding a bicycle is dead after a suspected impaired driver ran a stop light and struck him in a Rita Ranch crosswalk Friday evening, authorities said. The driver, who left the scene and then refused to pull over for police, was booked into the Pima County Jail and faces charges of second-degree murder and felony flight.

Scott Koch, 58, was crossing East Valencia Road at South Nexus Drive, heading south at the T-intersection, when a westbound silver 2011 Dodge Avenger failed to stop as the traffic light turned red, a Tucson Police Department spokesman said.

Koch was in the crosswalk on the east side of the intersection, and was hit by the car.

The driver, 44-year-old Eric Joseph Corral, "fled from the scene," Sgt. Pete Dugan said.

Koch was taken to Banner University Medical Center, and pronounced dead shortly after arriving there.

Witnesses at the scene provided details about the car and driver to officers, who "immediately shared that information over the radio in an attempt to locate the suspect vehicle," Dugan said.

"An off-duty officer on his way home heard the information and spotted the vehicle driving on the roadway," Dugan said. "The officer then coordinated responding marked units to the suspect’s location. Officers located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver refused to pull over. They were eventually able to stop the vehicle and detain the driver near Golf Links and Swan."

"Officers noticed signs and symptoms of impairment from the driver," Dugan said. Authorities did not provide details regarding the investigation into Corral's alleged impairment, but Dugan said that "speed and impairment appear to be factors" in the incident.

Corral was booked into the Pima County Jail on charges of second-degree murder, failure to stop for a serious injury collision and felony fleeing, Dugan said.

"The Tucson Police Department would like to thank the citizens and officers who worked together to stop this individual from potentially causing additional harm to the community," Dugan said.

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