9OYS Crime Alert

TPD needs car identified in likely hit-and-run death on South Alvernon

Police searching for drivers of green Mustang

CREATED Nov. 30, 2012 - UPDATED: Dec. 4, 2012

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  • Video by 1041thetruth.com

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  • TPD is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying the driver and/or occupants of a vehicle that was in the area where the collision occurred (courtesy TPD).

  • The vehicle is described as a 2005 to 2008 Ford Mustang Convertible painted light green, with a tan top and a “Pony” package (Mustang lettering across doors, wheels as pictured, rear spoiler, fog lamps). Photographs are of a similar vehicle (courtesy TPD).

Reporter: Craig Smith

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Tucson Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying a car that's believed to have been at the scene of a fatal pedestrian collision that happened on Nov. 30.

In a news release, Sergeant Chris Widmer said the driver and/or other occupants of a green Mustang may be witnesses to the incident. 

If you saw something that might help police find the driver who hit Emerson, please call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.

It's becoming a dangerous trend in Tucson. Pedestrians getting struck by moving vehicles.
    
This time, it was 31-year-old Jonathan Emerson who was struck. Police say he appeared to have been run over by a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sgt. Chris Widmer with the Tucson Police Department.

What happened at South Alvernon Way and 27th looks like a matter of panic, or cold blooded behavior that turned what would probably be classed as an accident, as a crime, because a driver who hit the man chose to drive off instead of stopping to help.

Near where the man died there's a tribute to a life lost on the streets: artificial flowers taped to a bus shelter, with the note: "Jonathan, you will be remembered."
   
Moments after midnight, Tucson Police were called to the spot where a man in his early thirties was dead; apparently from a driver who hit him, then drove away.
    
There is a crosswalk at that intersection. It has a HAWK light, a special set of lights to stop traffic and call extra attention to a pedestrian in the street, but it's not clear whether the man hit the button to activate the lights, or whether he was even in the crosswalk.

We talked to one woman who has witnessed how drivers and pedestrians behave on this stretch of Alvernon Way. She didn't want to appear on camera but she told us she often sees drivers going way too fast, pedestrians ignoring protected crosswalks, and occasionally, she sees drivers actually veering into the parking lots to keep from hitting someone on foot.
    
The death toll for Tucson streets is grim. For this year so far: Seven Pedestrians, three bicyclists, and 6 motorcycle riders.
     
But those numbers are better than last year. In 2011, fifteen pedestrians, two bicyclists and 11 motorcycle riders died in Tucson traffic.