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Pinal County: Three killed in crash after vehicle flees deputy in San Tan Valley; driver arrested

Pinal County Pursuit Crash 3 Killed.jpg
Posted at 7:42 PM, Feb 19, 2019

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ — Authorities say three people have died in a single-vehicle crash after it took off from a Pinal County deputy who tried to get it to pull over.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies tried to stop a silver passenger car for expired temporary vehicle registration and speeding near Schnepf Road and Hash Knife Draw in San Tan Valley around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The vehicle did not pull over and took off. Before the deputy could catch up, it crashed into a cement barricade along Schnepf Road between Ocotillo and Combs, according to a release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

Three male passengers, a 16-year-old and two 18-year-olds, were not wearing seatbelts at the time and were pronounced dead at the scene.

PCSO identified the two 18-year-olds killed as Amonte Deshawn Jones of Mesa and Chase James Bulmahn of San Tan Valley. The 16-year-old killed has not been identified because he is a juvenile.

The driver, 17-year-old Juan Sanchez, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and felony flight. Sanchez was hospitalized for minor injuries but has since been released and arrested.

Investigators found an AR-15 rifle, an MP-40 style submachine gun, a shotgun and two handguns in the vehicle, along with marijuana and other drugs, the sheriff's office said. Deputies say the driver admitted to being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.

A previous version of this story said a 27-year-old was killed. Pinal County issued a correction Tuesday night to say the person was 16, not 27.