Driver killed in fiery collision with police SUV transporting a prisoner in Phoenix

Dec 21, 2023, 10:23 AM | Updated: Dec 22, 2023, 7:26 am

File photo of a Phoenix police vehicle with yellow crime scene tape on it...

A Phoenix Police SUV carrying a prisoner was involved in a deadly collision on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023. (Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX – One person was killed in a fiery collision involving a police vehicle carrying a prisoner in Phoenix on Thursday morning, authorities said.

The second vehicle burst into flames after the crash just before 9 a.m. at the intersection of 35th Avenue and Thunderbird Road, the Phoenix Police Department said.

The Phoenix Fire Department responded and put out the fire. The driver, who was alone in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was identified later as 19-year-old Ashley Vailes.

The officer driving the marked police SUV and the assault suspect being transported were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, police said.

The police cruiser was heading west on Thunderbird Road without its lights on and turning left onto 35th Avenue when the collision occurred, police said.

The other vehicle was traveling east on Thunderbird. After the collision, the car struck a light pole and power box just east of the intersection before bursting into flames.

The intersection was closed for hours in the aftermath of the crash as investigators scoured the area.

Preliminary information indicated that Vailes drove into the intersection on a red light before the collision, police said.

An internal investigation into the incident will also be conducted.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

phoenix city council...

Phoenix City Council members criticize DOJ for no Spanish version of police investigation findings

The Phoenix City Council wrote to the Department of Justice on Thursday, requesting that it provides a Spanish version of the investigation of the city and the Phoenix Police Department.

36 minutes ago

This image of an officer apparently choking a man was included in the DOJ's report on its civil rig...

Kevin Stone

Here’s what DOJ found during civil rights investigation into Phoenix Police Department

Here's what the Department of Justice found during its yearslong investigation into civil rights violations by the Phoenix Police Department.

2 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Do Phoenix Police officers do an excellent job? Mike Broomhead thinks so

Do Phoenix Police officers do an excellent job? Mike Broomhead thinks so

2 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Why reform is needed on Arizona highways- by the numbers #commentary

Jim Sharpe breaks down the numbers to explains why the Arizona State Troopers Association is fighting for reform on state highways in Thursday’s Sharper Point commentary.

3 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Reaction to DOJ findings on Phoenix Police Department

Mike Broomhead reacts to the Department of Justice’s findings about the Phoenix Police Department. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

3 hours ago

Follow @KTAR923...

Sponsored Content by Collins Comfort Masters

Here's how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Driver killed in fiery collision with police SUV transporting a prisoner in Phoenix