FLORENCE — Saaron Mendez, 17, of Casa Grande has been indicted on two counts of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault by a Pinal County grand jury related to a fatal collision last May.

Mendez is charged in connection with the May 10 crash on the Ak-Chin Indian Community that killed Jenna Lattea, 16, and Nina Martinez, 15. Another teen girl was injured in the crash.

Martinez was a student at Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande. It remains unknown where the other two victims lived or went to school.

Though only 17, Mendez is charged as an adult and was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center Tuesday with a $100,000 secured bond. She has since been released from the county jail on bond or has been moved to a different facility.

Mendez allegedly was driving an extended-cab pickup at an excessive speed on White and Parker Road southeast of Maricopa when she lost control and the truck rolled, killing the two teens and injuring another girl. The crash was investigated by Ak-Chin first responders with the support of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.


Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.