3 teens die in vehicle crash after fleeing Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputy

The vehicle that crashed into a cement barricade along Schnepf Road between Ocotillo Road and Combs. (PCSO)

[Update: The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 21 provided the names of the two 18-year-old males who died, the name of the suspect driving the vehicle and his booking photo.]

Three teenagers who were passengers in a vehicle fleeing a Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputy died when the driver lost control and crashed along Schnepf Road between Ocotillo Road and Combs in San Tan Valley, PCSO said.

“There were three male passengers, a 16-year-old and two 18-year-olds, who were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and were pronounced dead at the scene. The 17-year-old driver, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to the hospital for minor injuries,” Navideh Forghani, PCSO’s public information officer, said in a release.

“The driver faces several charges to include three counts of first-degree murder under the ‘felony murder’ rule and felony flight,” Ms. Forghani said.

Juan Sanchez

The driver was identified by PCSO as Juan Sanchez, 17. He is being held at the Pinal County Adult Detention facility.

Two of the three dead are Amonte Deshawn Jones, 18, of Mesa; and Chase James Bulmahn, 18, of San Tan Valley, PCSO said.

“We will not be releasing the name of the 16-year-old because he was a juvenile,” Ms. Forghani said in a release.

Just before 11 a.m. Feb. 19, a PCSO deputy attempted to do a traffic stop on a silver passenger car for an expired temporary vehicle registration and excessive speed near Schnepf Road and Hash Knife Draw in San Tan Valley, she said.

“The driver of the vehicle did not pull over for deputies and took off at a high rate of speed. The deputy initiated a very brief pursuit but the vehicle was traveling very fast and before the deputy could catch up to the vehicle the driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a cement barricade along Schnepf Road between Ocotillo Road and Combs,” Ms. Forghani said.

“During the investigation, deputies found marijuana and dangerous drugs in the vehicle. They also uncovered a large amount of cash and several weapons to include an AR15, an MP40-style submachine gun, a shotgun and two handguns. The driver admitted to deputies to being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash,” she said in the release.

“We will not be releasing the driver’s name because he is a juvenile. The names of the passengers will not be released until next-of-kin notification has been made,” she said.

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