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Arrests made in 2018 hit-and-run crash that killed Grand Canyon University student

Taylor White.jpg
Posted at 6:11 AM, Apr 08, 2021

PHOENIX — Three years after a Grand Canyon University student was killed in a hit-and-run crash, Phoenix police say arrests have been made.

Taylor White, 21, was jogging with a friend when he was fatally struck by a vehicle while in the crosswalk near 31st Avenue and Camelback Road on April 8, 2018. Phoenix police released surveillance video from a city bus showing the suspect vehicle, which they later found, but it didn't immediately lead them to the suspect driver.

Friends and family described White as an adventurous and outgoing man who perhaps was best known for providing good times and lifelong memories. He was engaged to be married when the crash occurred.

Taylor White.jpg

Police said in a statement Wednesday that "the arrests were based on probable cause from forensic evidence, digital evidence, and witness testimony."

According to police, 29-year-old Barringtina Mathis and 29-year-old Adrian Favela were booked into jail on charges of obstructing an investigation, second-degree murder, and other felony charges.

GCU Hit and Run Suspects.jpg

"For justice to finally be coming about today...the three-year anniversary of losing Taylor. We are so grateful," White's mother said at a Wednesday press conference. "This is every parent's worst nightmare."

"We get an email every week, at least every month, from people saying... 'Taylor touched our lives.' This won't bring closure but this will bring justice," his father said. "We prayed for this for three years."

The family says they are hoping to be advocates for other hit-and-run victims and can help put changes into place to stop hit-and-run crashes.

"Forgiveness does not negate justice," his mother said. "Grief and gratitude go together and they are so intertwined."

According to police documents, a neighbor approached Favela and Mathis as they parked a damaged vehicle in their apartment complex after the incident. Favela reportedly told the neighbor he "hit somebody," and the pair proceeded to clean up debris from the vehicle.

The witness said he saw another man get into the vehicle, saying he was going to get rid of it. Police later found the vehicle burning at another location.

Mathis, the owner of the car, said the car had been stolen by her brother-in-law, Favela's brother, and she denied any involvement in the incident.

Favela also initially denied involvement in the incident, but later admitted to playing a role in the deadly crash. Two children belonging to Favela and Mathis were also reportedly in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Police documents say Favela was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.

No contact has reportedly been made with Favela's brother.