The driver killed Thursday morning when the stolen truck he was driving smashed into a power pole and a brick wall on Avenue A has been identified by police.
He was 22-year-old Jesus Meza.
Meza was driving a truck which had been stolen earlier Thursday morning, police said.
Meza has allegedly been linked to burglaries in the Yuma area in the past. According to Yuma Sun archives, on March 22 deputies with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office recovered stolen property from a car Meza had reportedly been occupying in the 10700 Block of East 39th Street. There had been several recent burglary attempts nearby.
Meza had allegedly given a false name to a deputy who approached him at about 1:43 a.m., and then fled the area on foot. He was able to elude capture, although the car he was occupying was seized, and stolen property reportedly inside the vehicle recovered.
According to the Yuma Police Department, the fatality wreck Meza was involved in happened at about 5:55 a.m. Thursday as he was driving a stolen 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck northbound on Avenue A near 15th Street – reportedly at a very high rate of speed. One eyewitness on scene said Meza had been traveling at speeds up to 80 mph.
Meza lost control of the truck, which then flipped across the left turn lane and southbound lane before striking an electrical pole and a brick wall on the northwest corner of the 15th Street intersection. The force of the impact could be felt by residents living several blocks away from the wreck.
During the collision, Meza was ejected from his vehicle and landed in the middle of the street. Police did not specify if Meza had been wearing a seat belt at the time.
A gray and white shoe, presumably Meza's, could be seen farther up the street immediately following the crash.
Meza was later taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.
According to APS, the collision with the power pole immediately severed electricity to about 1,152 homes and businesses in the area between 10th Street and 16th Street, and from 2nd Avenue to 14th Avenue. All power had been restored by 9:30 a.m.
YPD encourages anyone with information about this collision to call accident investigator Tina Cox at 373-4700 or 78-Crime to remain anonymous.