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Tempe PD: 3-year-old has died after being hit by truck, driver suspected of DUI

Tempe child hit by truck in critical condition
Posted at 3:52 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-30 21:02:34-04

Tempe police say a 3-year-old girl that was hit by a truck Monday has passed away.

The driver has been arrested, suspected of DUI.

The incident happened around 2 p.m. Monday in a neighborhood near Rural Road and University Drive. 

Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Ron Elcock said the driver of the truck, 61-year-old Levelle Ferebee exhibited signs of driving under the influence (drugs). He has not been charged due to pending lab results.  

According to Elcock, the girl's father took her out of his vehicle and was unloading another child when the 3-year-old walked in front of Ferebee's truck. She was transported to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries and passed away Friday.

"There's a lot of kids in these apartments," explains Kimberly Thompson, who lives in the complex and heard the sirens go by in the moments after the crash. "The first thing I heard was a little girl got hit, and I have a five-year-old daughter, so I got scared and went searching for my kids."

According to court paperwork, Ferebee said he had smoked marijuana the night before. Police say there was an odor of marijuana coming from his person and there was a green film across the top of his tongue. 

Ferebee's eyes reportedly appeared bloodshot and he performed poorly during field sobriety tests, according to court paperwork.

In a recently released study by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Arizona ranked number one for pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents. 

The report, which focuses on preliminary data from the first half of 2017, places New Mexico (1.48) just behind Arizona, while Hawaii (0.07) had the lowest fatality rate.

ABC15 analyzed 2016 crash data obtained from the Arizona Department of Transportation to pinpoint some of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians.

Zoom into different Valley locations in the map below to see when and where pedestrian-car crashes took place in 2016.