July 19, 2024

Teen dead in police chase crash named

Buckeye Police Department has named 18-year-old Yaritza Vasquez as the passenger who died after a June 20 run from the cops ended in a crash.

According to the department, the crash is presumed to be speed-related and occurred following a nearly hour-long search by police. BPD reports an officer initiated a traffic stop around 10:15 p.m. when a black Dodge Challenger blew a stop sign and continued northbound at a “high rate of speed.” 

“The officer activated their emergency lights and attempted to conduct a traffic stop,” the BPD statement said. “The driver took off speeding and the officer lost sight of the car and deactivated the emergency lights.”

Just before 11 p.m., another officer noticed the same Challenger was without headlights and speeding on southbound Verrado Way and began searching for the car. The officer located the car, which had crashed into a tree on Verrado near Sunrise shortly after.

The driver was an 18-year-old male. A 15-year-old male passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital. Vasquez died at the scene.

This morning, BPD Public Information Officer Carissa Planalp said no charges have been filed with the county attorney’s office at this time as the investigation is ongoing, but that it is likely charges will be recommended.

A photo of Yaritza (left) from her family's GoFundMe page.

A GoFundMe for Vasquez's family has received $8,740 of its $50,000 goal as of this morning, going toward funeral expenses and medical costs for Vasquez's brother, Robert Vasquez. According to the donation page, Robert sustained severe injuries during the crash which require "ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation and ongoing care."

"Yaritza was known to many as a loving daughter, sister, and friend who was a bright light in the lives of everyone who knew her," the GoFundMe description stated. "Her infectious smile, compassionate spirit, but overall her loving heart leaves a lasting and unforgettable impact on her family, friends and community. She was a loving daughter and friend to many. The loss of Yaritza has left an unimaginable void in the hearts of all who knew her, but more importantly in the hearts of her family."

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