Man leaves the scene after hitting a gas meter

SAFFORD – An officer arrived to the 800 block of 13th Street last Friday morning, just after 8:00am due to the report of a vehicle that had struck a gas meter in the front yard of a residence. As the officer spoke with the Fire Chief who was at the scene, it was believed the vehicle responsible for the collision had left the scene. The Fire Chief showed the officer a trail of debris and liquid left from a vehicle. The officer followed the trail of plastic debris and liquid to the 1000 block of 5th Avenue. A vehicle was discovered with heavy front end damage sustained from a collision. Liquid from the engine compartment could still be seen leaking from the vehicle, however, there was no one around.

The officer was informed through dispatch who the registered owner of the vehicle was. After having the vehicle towed from the location, the officer went to the address given but was told it was not the current address of the individual. After going back to the scene of the collision, the officer could see there was another vehicle parked on the side of the road that had sustained heavy front end damage. Through dispatch, the officer found the identity of the owner, however, residents in the area stated they did not think the person lived in the area because they didn’t recognize the automobile . The officer went to the address on file, but could not make contact with this individual, and was uncertain of a current address.

In addition to the damage to the gas meter, a fence near the meter was also damaged. The officer informed the owner of the fence that he would be contacted when the person responsible for the damages was found. In the meantime, Utility personnel from the City of Safford arrived to the scene, shut off the gas and started repairing the meter.

Later that evening, Safford Police received a call from the owner of the vehicle that had been towed stating they were the driver of the vehicle that had wrecked that morning. The driver stated he lost his brakes while driving and left the scene to seek medical attention. When the officer asked why he had not notified anyone, the man stated he didn’t have to for 48 hours. The man was informed he needed to bring his information to the Safford Police Department and would possibly be cited for leaving the scene of an accident and not reporting or leaving information as is required. The officer told him where his vehicle had been towed. As of the report, the case is still pending.