Police: Arizona deputy going 41 mph over speed limit before fatal crash

Police: Arizona deputy going 41 mph over speed limit before fatal crash
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 11:30am

The driver of an unmarked Maricopa County Sheriff's Office SUV was traveling 41 mph faster than the speed limit seconds before it T-boned a Nissan Cube and killed the driver in December.

A crash reconstruction by the Glendale Police Department showed Deputy Sean Pearce was going 81 mph in a 40 mph zone just prior to slamming on his brakes and colliding with the Cube driven by John Edward Harding, 63, of Glendale, according to a Glendale police report obtained by CBS 5 News on Monday.

Pearce, a 20-year veteran of the MCSO and the son of former state Sen. Russell Pearce, and Deputy David Parra were in separate MCSO vehicles and responding to a report that a murder suspect was on the move.

Sean Pearce told investigators he thought he was going about 55 mph in the center northbound lane of 59th Avenue and had no traffic in front of him, and then he saw Harding's vehicle enter the intersection of Hayward Avenue.

Sean Pearce said he locked up the brakes on the SUV but was unable to avoid the collision, according to the report.

Parra was following behind, saw the collision and stopped at the crash scene, according to the report.

Neither sheriff's vehicle was equipped with emergency lights, according to the report.

Harding died at a nearby hospital. He is survived by his wife, Nohemi Harding, and a son, Jordan.

The case has been submitted to the county attorney requesting manslaughter charges be filed against Pearce due to his reckless driving. 

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