Victims of fiery crash in Tempe identified - East Valley Tribune: News

Victims of fiery crash in Tempe identified

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Posted: Monday, April 2, 2007 11:38 am | Updated: 6:15 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Tempe police have identified the man and woman killed during a police chase Sunday as Sacaton residents Erika Nish, 30, and Stephen Williams, 22.

Police said they were following Joe Miranda Lopez’s red SUV when it ran a red light at Rural and Warner roads after 4 p.m. and struck a vehicle, ejecting its occupants. The passengers were not wearing seatbelts.

Lopez’s SUV then burst into flames, and he fought with officers who tried to rescue him from his vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Police said they had been following Lopez with lights and sirens for a couple streets after he attempted a burglary near Carver Road and Mill Avenue.

At one point, Lopez appeared to be stopping, but instead tried to drive his car into an officer.

Police are recommending the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to charge Lopez with burglary, aggravated assault and two counts first degree murder.

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