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Suspect in hit-and-run collision near UA campus has been found

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Brandi Walker | The Daily Wildcat

Cars drive through a crosswalk on Euclid Avenue just south of Sixth Street on Thursday, Sept. 3. The hit and run collision Saturday, Sept. 5, in which four UA students were struck, was close to where the new lighted crosswalk is being constructed.

UPDATED SEPT. 8, 2015

Four UA students were sent to the hospital after sustaining injuries in a hit-and-run collision Saturday evening.

Five students were waiting to cross the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Sixth Street. The students began walking after traffic stopped in the curbside lane when a driver hit four of the five pedestrians in the crosswalk.

The hit and run occurred close to where the city of Tucson is constructing a lighted crosswalk for bicycle and pedestrian safety at Fifth Street and Euclid Avenue, adjacent to the Coronado Residence Hall.

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One student was reportedly in life-threatening condition, two were in serious condition and one student sustained minor injuries following the hit and run.

Three of the four students were released from the hospital shortly after being admitted, but Alyssa Belder, an undergraduate student, still remains at Banner—Health University Medical Center Tucson under critical care with life-threatening injuries.

According to her GoFundMe page that was set up over the weekend, Belder spent at least 24 hours in a medically-induced coma and was diagnosed with head trauma and a fractured pelvis. She also has other undiagnosed injuries.

The driver, identified by the Tucson Police Department as Gerald D. Taylor, 45, sped off after the collision, but was later found at a local Wal-Mart on the northwest side of Tucson, near Wetmore Road, said Pete Dugan, media relations sergeant at TPD.

Upon arrival at the Wal-Mart, Dugan said Taylor called emergency response crew and turned himself into the authorities.

Taylor reportedly had three children in the vehicle with him during the time of the incident.

“It appears that alcohol and speed seems to have been a factor in the collision,” Dugan said.

UA President Ann Weaver Hart released a statement regarding the incident on the university’s official Facebook page Sunday afternoon.

“We all hurt when tragedy strikes the Wildcat family and it is especially painful when several students are involved. The thoughts and best wishes of all of us are with our students injured in yesterday’s incident and with their families,” Hart said in the statement.

She went on to thank the emergency medical staff and police officers for quickly responding to the situation.

“We hope for a complete recovery for all and their swift return to campus,” Hart said in the statement.

Taylor is currently in custody at the Pima County Jail and has been charged with DUI, aggravated assault, child abuse, felony endangerment and leaving the scene of a serious injury accident.


UPDATED SEPT. 6, 2015

Four UA students were sent to the hospital after sustaining injuries in a hit-and-run collision Saturday evening.

One student is currently in life threatening condition, two are in serious condition and one student has sustained minor injuries following the hit and run.

After the collision, the driver, identified by the Tucson Police Department as Gerald D. Taylor, 45, sped off and was later found at a local Walmart on the northwest side of Tucson, near Wetmore Road, said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a TPD spokesman.

Upon arriving at the Walmart, Dugan said, emergency response was called and Taylor turned himself into the authorities.

“It appears that alcohol and speed seems to have been a factor in the collision,” Dugan said.

Earlier this afternoon, UA President Ann Weaver Hart released a statement regarding the incident on the university's official Facebook page.

“We all hurt when tragedy strikes the Wildcat family and it is especially painful when several students are involved. The thoughts and best wishes of all of us are with our students injured in yesterday's incident and with their families. I also want to thank the emergency medical staff and police who responded so quickly to help. We hope for a complete recovery for all and their swift return to campus,” Hart said in the statement.

Taylor is currently in custody. The charges that Taylor will face remain pending at this time. 


Original post

Pedestrians were victims of a hit and run after being struck by a vehicle Saturday evening near the UA campus.

Four pedestrians were hit on Euclid Avenue and Sixth Street, near the Arbol de la Vida residence hall, with reports of one victim sustaining life threatening injuries.

Both intersections at Euclid Avenue between Fourth and Sixth Street were shut down for the police and emergency crew.

According to a tweet by Tucson Police Department media relations sergeant Pete Dugan, the suspect has been located and will soon apprehend.

According to Tucson News Now, TPD officials had been on the search for a white, 90s Mazda, with a missing side mirror.

The investigation is still underway.  


Follow Lauren Renteria on Twitter.



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