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Crash on I-17 in Phoenix leaves 1 pedestrian dead, 1 hurt

Posted at 4:15 AM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 14:57:38-04

PHOENIX — Officials are investigating after one pedestrian was killed and another injured during a crash along Interstate 17 in Phoenix.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials say the crash happened early Monday morning along I-17 near Indian School Road.

A vehicle reportedly struck two pedestrians along the freeway, leaving one dead and another with unknown injuries.

It was originally reported as a hit-and-run crash, however, officials later told ABC15 crews at the scene the vehicle stopped one exit down, at Camelback Road.

Officials have identified the victim as Noelia Gastelum, 28, of Phoenix. The driver, Palina Khastal, 27, of Peoria, was charged with failure to remain at the scene of a deadly crash.

According to police paperwork, Khastal said the crash occurred while she was driving home from meeting friends after work.

She said she moved over two lanes after seeing a work truck, and heard a “loud boom,” but didn’t see anything in her mirrors. She said she continued driving and pulled into a Wendy’s parking lot nearby, and called her mother and aunt.

Khastal said she was scared to call police but was reportedly going to call police around the time when troopers arrived to her location, documents say.

Impairment is not believed to be a factor, but officials say she had a suspended driver’s license at the time of the crash.

There is no word yet on why the pedestrians were along the freeway at the time.