PHOENIX - Police say a driver in a stolen vehicle crashed into another car, killing three people and injuring six others during the early morning hours of July 22 in north Phoenix.
The Phoenix Fire Department initially responded to the scene at around 2 a.m. near 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird and found multiple crashed cars, with one fully engulfed in flames.
Six people who were inside the stolen car – teenagers and young adults – were transported to hospitals in serious condition.
Phoenix Police say the stolen car was speeding on 43rd Avenue when it crashed into another car that was making a left turn onto Thunderbird.
All three people inside the other car that was making the left turn died at the scene. Their identities have not been released by authorities, but they are believed to be adults.
Loved ones say the driver is Terry Hill and that he was a Lyft driver, and the GoFundMe set up for Hill says he was driving for the rideshare company that night to provide for his wife and their son. He was reportedly on his last ride of the night.
"Inside that stolen vehicle were six people, they ranged from teenagers to young adults; those six people were transported to local hospitals with serious injuries," Sgt. Melissa Soliz said. "The vehicle that erupted into flames we believe to be three adults, however, they have not been identified at this point. Those three people did die from their injuries."
A spokesperson with Lyft issued a statement on the incident, which reads:
"We are heartbroken by this incident. Our hearts are with the victim's loved ones during this incredibly difficult time and we've reached out to offer our support. We are ready to assist law enforcement however we can."
At a vigil a day later, loved ones spoke about the impact Hill had on their lives.
"He was always the life of the party. We always have fun with him and that’s what we remember him by," his sister Jada Hill said.
"He told me he was going to come over after work and visit me and his newborn nephew. Literally, a month old, two months next week and he wanted to visit with us and spend time with us. He will be missed. He was a great dad," Alonzo Akins, his brother, said.
One of Hill's friends felt like he was nothing short of a big brother.
When asked if he would be where he is today without Hill's mentorship, his response was, "To be honest, no. Because I wouldn’t have graduated high school and kept doing positive things without him. He used to call me if I was out at like two in the morning. He’d pull up on me and take me back home. He was just like a big brother. He looked out for everybody around him."
Three people are dead and several others have been hospitalized following an early-morning crash on July 22 in north Phoenix. (Glendale Fire Department)