GLENDALE, AZ — A life taken, and a mystery now believed to be solved.
Timothy James Valdivia is accused of hitting and killing a Maricopa County Transportation worker and then speeding away.
The crime happened at 71st Avenue and Glendale where Gustav Danielson was fatally struck by a truck back in March. His colleague was also injured.
Now, all these months later, an arrest and new court documents are shedding some light on how police found the suspected driver.
"We were all disheartened to find out one of ours was killed," Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman told ABC15.
Supervisor Hickman tells us he and Gustav worked under the Maricopa County family.
He's now feeling grateful his coworker is getting justice, even going on Twitter to thank law enforcement for making the arrest.
8 months ago, a pickup struck two @MCDOTNews employees in a crash zone, killing one of them. There's now been an arrest in the case. Supervisor Clint Hickman issued the following statement, thanking @glendaleazpd & urging people to pay attention on the roads. pic.twitter.com/dn4zE8wPVz— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) November 3, 2021
"It's a little bit of a relief. Somebody was out in the community, knowing what he or she did, and now they'll have to answer to the justice system," he added.
Timothy Valdivia has now been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run that claimed Danielson’s life and hurt his colleague, as the two were picking up traffic barriers.
"Absolutely, it's a tragedy. People forget that there [are] crews that go out and clean up after these wrecks," said Supervisor Hickman.
Court documents say Valdivia lied to investigators from the start, actually reporting his silver Dodge Ram as being stolen the day of the hit-and-run.
Then, three days later, Valdivia's truck was found less than a mile away from his home, with front-end damage, which was consistent with the crash.
Cell tower data from Valdivia’s cell phone places him at the site of the crash. It also shows that Valdivia even went back to the scene of the crime, hours later.
That data also places him where his truck was found.
Court documents say when investigators presented these findings to Valdivia, he didn't admit to driving the truck, but said he was drinking that night and stated, "anything is possible."
"Sometimes you have to deal with your mistakes as they occur," the Supervisor told ABC15.
Timothy James Valdivia was booked into jail on multiple counts of leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid after an accident, making a false report to law enforcement, and failure to give information, according to the arrest report.