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Couple arrested in fatal San Tan Valley collision

PHOENIX — A Pinal County couple has been arrested after a teenage boy died from his injuries in a San Tan Valley collision Friday night, county authorities said.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened after 8 p.m. Friday near a Wal-Mart store. Cullen Connely, a disabled 17-year-old boy, was in the back of a van driven by his parents and was taken to a Phoenix-area hospital after the crash. He was later pronounced dead.

The PCSO said detectives determined the van was stopped near the Wal-Mart entrance on Hunt Highway, and that a Chevrolet Tahoe had slammed into the back of it without stopping.

Detectives traced the suspect vehicle, as identified by a witness at the scene, to a residence in the nearby community of Copper Basin, and 33-year-old Boyd Palmer and 36-year-old Megan Palmer were soon arrested.

The PCSO said the Tahoe was found hidden near storage containers behind the store. The sheriff’s office also said surveillance footage from the Wal-Mart showed Boyd was driving the vehicle and Megan was the front-seat passenger. Detectives also found an open bottle of wine in the vehicle.

The sheriff’s office said the couple approached several people asking for a ride to get back home after leaving the Tahoe behind.

Boyd Palmer was booked into a county jail Saturday on charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision. Megan Palmer faces charges of hindering prosecution and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.