A Chandler boy was struck and killed while attempting to ride his bike across Arizona Avenue Friday afternoon, but it wasn't until some time later that the man driving the vehicle that involved returned to the scene and turned himself in, according to police.
Aaron Arnold, 11, of Chandler was crossing the busy thoroughfare on his bicycle near Knox Road when he was struck by a gold Dodge Dakota pickup truck traveling southbound, according to details provided by the Chandler Police Department. The driver of the pickup truck fled the scene in vehicle, police said.
Officers arrived on scene around 12:45 p.m. to find the Arnold lying in the roadway next to the bicycle, Chandler police spokesman Det. Seth Tyler said, adding that Arnold was pronounced dead shortly thereafter by Chandler Fire Department officials.
According to police, 24-year-old Ronnie Chavez arrived at the scene some time later and turned himself in. Investigators learned that Chavez was the driver of the pickup, fleeing the scene after the collision and abandoning the truck in the parking lot of an apartment complex at Chandler Boulevard and Alma School Road.
Police said Chavez, a Chandler resident, returned to the scene with his father. After volunteering to speak with investigators, Chavez was arrested and booked into Maricopa County Jail on one count of failure to stop for an accident involving death, a class three felony.
Shortly after the accident, Tyler said Chandler police were “working leads on the vehicle” involved, adding that “we had a number of people that were speaking with officers” as potential witnesses.
“This tragedy occurred right in front of a restaurant, (and) there's a car wash right behind me,” he added. “It's a pretty busy area, so there's the potential for a high number of witnesses.
"We are treating this as a hit-and-run collision," Tyler added, prior to Chavez returning to the scene. "So we are treating this, essentially, as a homicide."
The investigation is still considered active.
Tyler said that the boy was crossing Arizona Avenue in an area that did not have a crosswalk.