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Burglary suspect driving stolen moving van hits bystander in Phoenix

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Police in Phoenix said a bystander critically injured early Wednesday by a burglary suspect driving a stolen moving van has died.

Dawn Bestenlehner, 45, died of the injuries she suffered in the accident at 31st Avenue and Thomas Road.

The suspect was identified Thursday as 39-year-old Shawn Nelson. Authorities said he was booked on multiple felonies, including first-degree murder, leaving the scene of a fatal collision and burglary.

Sgt. Vince Lewis said an officer responding to a 2:40 a.m. burglary alarm arrived at a cellphone store while the suspect was still there.

The suspect spotted the officer, got into a stolen U-Haul truck and hit the patrol vehicle on his way out, Lewis told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The driver tried to get around a semi truck that was being towed, but instead hit the tow truck. The collision forced the U-Haul onto the sidewalk, where it hit Bestenlehner.

Eventually, the U-Haul came to a stop across the street. The suspect ran away but an officer chased him down, used a Taser and arrested him.

Bestenlehner was transported in extremely critical condition to a hospital, where she died.

Nelson also was taken to the hospital after complaining of pain. He was booked after being released from the hospital.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster contributed to this report.

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