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Van stolen out of Tempe flips during police pursuit, PIT used to stop suspect

The van was stolen Monday afternoon out of Tempe before it crashed near Interstate 17 and Thunderbird Road.

TEMPE, Ariz. — A van stolen out of Tempe flipped during a chase along I-17 Monday afternoon with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.  

Officials with DPS said their agency used a PIT maneuver, or precision immobilization technique, to stop the suspect vehicle prior to the crash.

In a news release, DPS said the criminal investigation into the incident is being handled by the Tempe Police Department, while the investigation into the minor injury collision is being handled by the DPS.

Tempe police said the van was taken at about 1 p.m. near 3rd Street and Mill Avenue by a male suspect. 

DPS troopers spotted the stolen vehicle on I-17 in north Phoenix and proceeded to pursue the van, Tempe police said. 

Video footage recorded by the Arizona Department of Transportation shows the white van being chased along the Thunderbird Road on-ramp before flipping on its side. 

Tempe police said the suspect was taken into custody shortly after the van crashed. DPS reported the incident as a "non-injury collision." 

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Deaths on Arizona roads 

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

ADOT offers driving tips on its website 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

Find more tips on the department's Driving Safety Homepage on ADOT's website here. 

"Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, downloading the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT," the department said.

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