Suspect arrested in fatal hit-and-run on West Valley freeway ramp

Dec 28, 2022, 11:23 AM | Updated: 11:26 am
Jonathan Baldizon (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
Jonathan Baldizon (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A suspect in a fatal hit-and-run collision on a West Valley freeway ramp last week has been arrested, authorities said.

Jonathan Baldizon, 30, was taken into custody Monday for failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving injury or death.

He is accused of hitting Nicole Cortez, 33, on the southbound Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway exit ramp to Peoria Avenue in the early hours of Dec. 19 and then driving off.

When Arizona Department of Transportation troopers arrived at the scene after 2:30 a.m., they found a car stopped in the middle of the ramp with its hazard lights on and the driver-side door open.

Cortez’s body was found down an embankment next to the car, according to court documents.

Investigators found evidence that implicated a 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger, and DPS put out a bulletin about the suspected vehicle.

According to the probable cause statement for Baldizon’s arrest, DPS received a tip Monday morning about a Challenger in Tolleson with damages that matched the debris found at the scene.

Detectives served a search warrant at the residence and talked to the Challenger’s registered owner, who said Baldizon was driving the car at the time of the freeway ramp incident.

After being taken into custody and read his rights, Baldizon said he was driving home from work and acknowledged hitting a car while he exited the freeway, according to the probable cause statement.

He said he stopped and looked around but didn’t see anybody, and then he drove away because he doesn’t have a license.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pixabay Photo)...

Multiple Arizona chefs, restaurants earn spots as James Beard Awards semifinalists

Arizona chefs and restaurants found a place at the table Wednesday when the James Beard Awards announced semifinalists for 2023.
19 hours ago
Nickelback (Richard Beland Photo)...

Nickelback’s Get Rollin’ Tour to stop at Footprint Center in Phoenix in July

Nickelback's 2023 Get Rollin' Tour will make a stop at Footprint Center in Phoenix on July 12.
19 hours ago
(Maricopa County Colleges Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Former Valley professor to serve on advisory group for National Space Council

Former Valley professor Sian Proctor will advise the Biden administration on maintenance and responsibility for its space present and future.
19 hours ago
(Greg Nash/Pool via AP)...
Taylor Kinnerup

Arizona’s News Roundup: Gallego announces Senate run, prison reform ramps up

Arizona's News Roundup this week catches you up on Ruben Gallego's announced Senate run, prison reform initiatives and more.
19 hours ago
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes participates in a Martin Luther King Day celebration on Jan. 16...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes: No more ‘political lawsuits’

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has withdrawn a student debt lawsuit filed by her Republican predecessor as she changes the direction of the state’s top legal office.
19 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Street Eats Food Truck Festival)...

Work up an appetite this weekend at Street Eats Food Truck Festival in Scottsdale

Arizona's largest food truck party returns to the Valley this weekend for two days of sampling, feasting and more.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Suspect arrested in fatal hit-and-run on West Valley freeway ramp