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Suspect arrested for fatal hit-and-run that killed Valley father

Phoenix police said a suspect was arrested Tuesday for a hit-and-run crash that killed a 55-year-old father who was excited to spend the holidays with his family.

PHOENIX — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast. 

The Phoenix Police Department has arrested a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a 55-year-old father a couple of weeks before Christmas. 

Lewis Kemp died on Dec. 11 after his truck was struck near 75th Avenue and Williams Street by a car that failed to yield to a stop sign. The car's driver allegedly fled on foot, leaving Kemp to die at the scene. 

Kemp left behind two children and was known by his family for loving the Christmas season. 

“He loved to do his Christmas decorations. That was his favorite holiday of the year. So, he was ready for Christmas,” Arminda Muñoz, Kemp's fiancé, told 12 News earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Phoenix police announced investigators had arrested Luis Enrique Mendez, 26, as a suspect in the hit-and-run case. The suspect was allegedly driving a stolen car at the time of his arrest, police said. 

RELATED: Woman arrested in connection to hit-and-run involving Phoenix police officer

RELATED: Teenager caught by Phoenix police after fatal hit-and-run collision

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Deaths on Arizona roadways: 

Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows that roadway fatalities have been gradually rising in Arizona over the last decade: 

  • 2011: 825 deaths  

  • 2012: 821 deaths 

  • 2013: 844 deaths 

  • 2014: 774 deaths 

  • 2015: 895 deaths 

  • 2016: 952 deaths 

  • 2017: 1,000 deaths 

  • 2018: 1,010 deaths 

  • 2019: 982 deaths 

  • 2020: 1,057 deaths 

Driving Safety Tips: 

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) offers driving tips to help keep people safe on the road. 

"There’s always room for improvement when it comes to road safety," the department said on its website. 

ADOT's suggestions include: 

  • Don’t speed or drive aggressively 

  • Never drive while under the influence of substances 

  • Avoid distractions while driving 

  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers are doing the same 

  • When an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, move over 

  • Stay extra aware in work zones 

  • Be prepared for weather conditions that make driving dangerous 

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