PHOENIX, AZ — Three people are dead after a large chain-reaction crash involving a Valley Metro bus, several vehicles, and a pedestrian.
Police say the incident started around 3:45 p.m. near 17th Avenue and Missouri when a man, later identified as 33-year-old Raymond Montgomery, assaulted a woman and stole her vehicle.
Just minutes later, the stolen vehicle, a Cadilac SRX, was involved in a multi-vehicle crash near 7th Avenue and Missouri.
According to witnesses and evidence at the scene, the suspect went through the red light at the intersection at a high rate of speed, colliding with a Honda Civic. All three occupants of the Civic, a mother and her two teenage children, were killed. They have since been identified as 16-year-old Almira Geer, 18-year-old Ali Geer, and 45-year-old Courtney Lonergan.
Police say they learned that Montgomery was traveling at about 97 miles-per-hour seconds before the collision, and about 78 miles-per-hour just before impact.
The force of that collision caused both cars to hit a Dodge Ram pickup truck with an adult and child inside. The truck was then pushed into a city bus that had a driver and two passengers on board. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported to the occupants of the bus or truck.
The Cadillac reportedly continued moving, hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The pedestrian suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Police say Montgomery admitted to driving the Cadillac and the victim of the robbery positively identified him.
After Montgomery was released from the hospital following the collision, he was booked for three counts of first-degree murder, robbery, theft of means of transportation, and seven counts of endangerment, police say.
Officials say DUI charges are pending lab results.
A Gofundme has been set up to help with the funeral services for Almira, Ali, and Courtney.