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Oro Valley police sergeant resigns following hit-and-run investigation

Tucson Police, code lights

The Oro Valley Police Department sergeant who was involved in a hit-and-run collision in September has resigned, officials said.

A spokesperson for OVPD confirmed that Jose Sanchez resigned from the department. Sanchez was initially placed on administrative leave following the incident.

On Sept. 6, Pima County sheriff’s deputies were sent to the scene of a hit-and-run collision involving a gray Honda Civic and a black pickup truck in the parking lot of Trident IV, in the 2900 block of West Ina Road at North Shannon Road. An employee at the restaurant, who had been throwing away trash outside at the time, told deputies he heard what sounded like two cars getting in a possible collision, police records say.

The employee said he saw the Honda Civic rocking back and forth like it had been hit while a black truck left the restaurant, police records say. The vehicle that was hit belonged to another employee at the restaurant.

The vehicle had damage to the entire driver’s side from the front fender to the rear quarter panel, police records say.

After running the truck’s license plate and finding its location, a deputy arrived at the residence and found Sanchez, police records say.

The deputy also noted that Sanchez reportedly had watery bloodshot eyes. When asked if he had been driving the truck, Sanchez told the deputy no, police records say.

Sanchez reportedly told another responding deputy that he had been drinking but was not driving the vehicle and did not want to answer any more questions, police records say. Standing 3 feet away from Sanchez, the deputy noted that he could smell an odor of intoxicants coming from him.

The next day, another deputy went back to question Sanchez. Sanchez said he was unaware and did not feel the collision as he was pulling out of the parking space, police records say. He also said his radio was on really loud and probably didn’t hear it happen.

When asked why he denied driving the truck the previous night, Sanchez said he does not know why, but simply because he panicked, police records say.

Sanchez was cited by the sheriff’s department for leaving the scene of a collision, Oro Valley police said.

Jamie Donnelly covers breaking news for the Arizona Daily Star. Contact her via e-mail at jdonnelly@tucson.com


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