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Phoenix city employee facing manslaughter charge in deadly hit-and-run

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Posted at 1:38 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 15:52:54-05

A Phoenix city employee is facing felony charges including manslaughter after he was reportedly involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 70-year-old man.

Court records said the crash happened Sunday when the Arizona Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a collision on State Route 202 north of Southern Avenue. A witness told authorities that a small dark blue passenger car and a gold minivan were traveling next to each other on the roadway when the crash happened.

Witnesses said they saw a man in the minivan get out of his vehicle, described by witnesses as a Hispanic man who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall, of slender build with dark jean pants and ran towards the Salt River bottom, according to court records.

Phoenix firefighters arrived at the scene and began performing CPR on the driver of the dark blue passenger car and later transported him to Banner Estrella Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities identified him as 70-year-old Douglas Lee Smith.

Phoenix police began to track down the driver and owner of the gold minivan who was identified as 26-year-old Marcus Castro. Castro was soon located near 51st and Southern avenues, court records said.

Police said Castro was brought back to the scene where witnesses identified him as the driver who fled the crash.

After he was transported to Banner University Medical Center to be evaluated, Castro was booked into the DPS Metro Booking Facility.

Witnesses told authorities the gold minivan was traveling at an estimated speed of 100 MPH and was rapidly changing lanes, nearly striking other vehicles on the roadway before the collision.

Court records said Castro, who works as a Phoenix city employee, is currently facing felony charges for manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash involving death.