PHOENIX, AZ (KTVK) — A 47-year-old woman was killed and an 11-year-old girl was injured after they were hit by a truck Wednesday night in north Phoenix, police said.
The two victims are the wife and daughter of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Deputy Sergeant Steve Chervenak.
The incident was reported around 7 p.m. near E. Jomax and N. Cave Creek roads, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
According to Sgt. Alan Pfohl of Phoenix police, the driver, identified as 45-year-old Trent Ferree intentionally struck the woman and the girl while they were walking on the sidewalk.
Pfohl said after striking them, Ferree backed up and struck the woman again. Ferree then drove forward and struck her again before witnesses pulled him from the vehicle and detained him for police.
“This was not an accident,” said Phoenix police Sgt. Jonathan Howard. “This was an intentional act where here came up behind these two women, woman and child, and intentionally ran them over, and ran them over again.”
One of the witnesses who held the suspect down was neighbor Michael Steinberg.
“He comes speeding down the road, hits her, backs up and goes and hits her again, just keeps going; doesn’t want to stop,” said Steinberg.
Pfohl said Ferree had tried to strike two other victims earlier but they were able to jump out of the way.
Police say Ferree didn’t know the victims and didn’t live in the neighborhood where the incident occurred.
“There is no indication he knows them, just random people who got in his way last night,” said Sgt. Howard.
Pfohl also says police believe either impairment or mental health or both “may be a factor.”
“He was crazy talking. Voices were telling him to do it,” said Steinberg.
The woman was taken to a local hospital in extremely critical condition where she was later pronounced dead. The girl suffered a minor ankle injury.
Pfohl said Ferree was detained by police and will be booked for one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.