Speed likely not a factor when SUV struck boy

Deputy on non-emergency call when he fatally hit 10-year-old
2013-07-17T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T10:20:29Z Speed likely not a factor when SUV struck boyCarmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A sheriff's deputy whose SUV struck and killed a young boy was responding to a call but did not have his emergency lights and siren on, officials said Tuesday.

The 10-year-old boy died Monday evening after he darted into traffic on a busy south-side street.

Tucson police, who are conducting the traffic investigation, said speed did not appear to be a factor in the incident about 4:45 p.m. Witnesses told investigators that a group of children had been seen crossing back and forth across South Campbell Avenue before the boy was struck.

Pima County sheriff's Deputy Jesus Verduzco, 40, was in a marked Chevrolet Tahoe and driving north on Campbell near East Wyoming Street, when he swerved to avoid striking the boy, said Sgt. Maria Hawke, a Tucson police spokeswoman.

He was answering a non-emergency call at the time, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Verduzco reported to sheriff's communications that he struck a child who was running across the street and needed medical assistance, Hawke said.

The posted speed limit is 40 mph.

Verduzco immediately stopped his vehicle and began first aid, Hawke said.

Tucson Fire Department paramedics took the boy to University of Arizona Medical Center, where he died Monday night.

The boy's name is not being released by Tucson police, and police officials said they have a right to withhold the name.

After speaking to witnesses, traffic detectives were told that a group of children had been running several times back and forth across Campbell, Hawke said.

The boy was with the group, she said.

At one point, the boy was on the east side of Campbell and the others were across the street. The boy darted onto Campbell to join his friends when he was struck, said Hawke.

Verduzco has been with the Sheriff's Department for five years. He was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a major incident.

The department is conducting an administrative investigation, which is standard procedure, to determine whether Verduzco followed regulations.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or cduarte@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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