I-10 closed due to fatal crash

Interstate 10 near Picacho was closed April 21 after a fatal accident.

FLORENCE — An 18-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder after crashing a Toyota RAV4 while fleeing from a state trooper near Picacho Thursday in a human smuggling effort, killing three people.

Kevin Avila was booked Friday into the Pinal County jail on charges of first-degree homicide, numerous counts of endangerment and aggravated assault.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said as of Monday morning several victims remained in the hospital.

Graves said DPS is working to confirm the identification of the dead victims and added this is an ongoing process with the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Mexican Consul’s Office.

He said DPS will perform an administrative investigation to determine if its procedures were followed, as is the practice for all critical incidents. DPS will be conducting its own investigation.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations will be conducting a parallel investigation.

DPS reported the collision occurred when a Toyota RAV4, while being pursued by a state trooper, crossed the median of Interstate 10 near Picacho and collided with a tractor-trailer rig.


Michael Maresh is a reporter for PinalCentral covering Coolidge news, education and sports.

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