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Tucson police: Speeding, impaired driving factor in crash that killed 20-year-old

Tucson police: Speeding, impaired driving factor in crash that killed 20-year-old

Douglas Phillip Bender

Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the last name of the man arrested. His name is Douglas Phillip Bender.

A 20-year-old man was killed and a driver suspected of driving impaired faces a second-degree murder charge after a recent crash on Tucson's east side.

Adam Ballerstein died at the scene Oct. 6, when his car was hit head-on by a Jeep that jumped a raised median and plowed into oncoming traffic, the Tucson Police Department said in a news release.

Douglas Phillip Bender, 47, who was injured in the wreck, was released from the hospital Oct. 14 and immediately taken into custody by police.

Bender was booked into the Pima County jail on suspicion of second degree murder and criminal damage.

A DUI officer who responded to the scene "determined the driver of the Jeep was impaired at the time of the collision," a TPD news release said.

The investigation is ongoing and "additional charges could be pending," it said.

The fatal crash occurred about 10:20 p.m. in the 8000 block of East Tanque Verde Road, on a curved stretch of overpass near North Pantano Road where a raised median separates traffic.

Witnesses told police the a white Jeep Wrangler was speeding when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The Jeep drove over the median and into oncoming traffic on the other side, striking the victim's silver Hyundai Sonata head on, police said.

Contact reporter Carol Ann Alaimo at 573-4138 or calaimo@tucson.com. On Twitter: @AZStarConsumer

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