Tucson Man Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Connection With Street Racing Incident

Police believe a man was involved in a street race when he allegedly killed another driver.The Tucson Police Department has formally charged a man who was reportedly involved in a fatal accident that occurred in the city on Saturday, October 15.

Officials from the Tucson Police Department said recently after intensifying their investigation, they had moved to formally charge 21-year-old Damaso Alavez with one count of second-degree murder, one count of endangerment and one count of criminal damage.

The charges stem from Alavez’s involvement in what Tucson Police Department officials asserted was a fatal street-racing incident. Police reports indicate the deputies were called to the intersection of North Oracle Road and West River Road at roughly 2:35 a.m. that day.

When Tucson police officers arrived, they reportedly discovered an apparent automobile collision, one that had left some of those involved with serious injuries, according to a report from KVOA News. A spokesperson from the Tucson police said that police helped to transport three adult males to a local trauma center.

One of the men reportedly injured as a result of the alleged accident was 29-year-old Stephen Larson, a Tucson native, police officials said. He later succumbed to his injuries.

Tucson police officials called in detectives from the Traffic Investigations Unit to help investigated the apparent car crash. Investigators from the department reportedly stated in a report that Larson, who was said to have been driving a 2006 Kia Sorento, had turned onto the northbound middle lane of North Oracle after making a left hand turn from eastbound River Road.

The investigators further determined that Alavez, driving a 2002 Volkswagen Passat, was at the same time driving northbound in the middle lane at an exceedingly fast rate. He reportedly was participating in an illegal street race at the time, according to the news agency.

Officials said Alavez slammed into the rear end of Larson’s car slightly north of the intersection. Alavez is said to have suffered minor injuries as a result of the alleged incident, as was a passenger who was reportedly seated in the passenger side.

Investigators said they believed alcohol and speed both played factors in prompting the apparent collision that resulted in Larson’s death. They later booked Alavez into Pima County Jail after arresting him.

Arizona police authorities have endeavored to crack down on alcohol-related automobile accidents over the past decade. Officials from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and other local police departments have stepped up such efforts, especially over the past few years, according to officials.

Last year, there were 110 fatal alcohol-related multi-vehicle car crashes in the state, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. What’s more, there were 210 alcohol-related fatal automobile accidents in total in 2010, ADT data indicates. That figure represents roughly 33 percent of all fatal car crashes that occurred in the state during the year.