PD: Woman dead following fiery crash at west Phoenix intersection; suspect arrested

A man has been arrested after a woman died following a two-car crash at a west Phoenix intersection that was reportedly caused by illegal street racing.

According to Phoenix Police, the crash happened just before 9:30 p.m. on May 2 at 91st Avenue and Indian School Road when a 2017 Infinity Q50 that was driven by 34-year-old Andrew Friedlander was speeding and crashed into a Jeep.

The Jeep caught fire and a bystander pulled the driver out of the jeep, identified as 28-year-old Charissa Coleman. She was transported to a local hospital but did not survive.

Friedlander was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. He was booked into jail and is accused of manslaughter.

According to witnesses, the Infiniti and a black Camaro were street racing when the Infiniti struck the Jeep.

After the crash, the Camaro left the scene.

If you have any information on the black Camaro, please call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.

Witness, Joseph Maese, caught the aftermath of the crash on cell phone video.

Police, lawmakers call for stricter street racing laws

"When you think about driving at 90-100 miles an hour, speed kills. If you hit something at that speed, tragic results," says Sgt. Maggie Cox with Phoenix Police.

Since January, the city of Phoenix has been impounding cars involved in illegal street racing. Those vehicles can be impounded for up to 30 days.

14 officers recently created a task force targeting street racing. They're focused on identifying street race activities across the city. Since the start of 2021, there have been 213 citations, 129 arrests and 36 tows.

"Trying to do little things to deter it because the last thing we want to do is have a situation like last night where you have somebody's life taken for a senseless act of racing. We cannot have this happen. One life is too many," Cox said.

Arizona Republican Senator Paul Boyer is pushing Senate Bill 1533. If it's signed into law, it would penalize those involved in street races and takeovers with a $1,000 fine added to misdemeanor charges as well as a vehicle impound of seven days.

Money from paid citations would fund a "Drag Racing Prevention Enforcement Fund" to help cities that need it most.

Boyer says the bill is ready for a final vote in the House. If passed, it would need one more read in the Senate before heading to the governor's desk.

"It kills me because another day goes by and I hear about another street racing death and I just wish that we could get this out up on the board today and up to the governor as soon as possible," Boyer said.

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