Phoenix PD: Red light runner in stolen SUV causes deadly multi-crash involving city bus

A deadly crash involving a Valley Metro bus, a pick up truck, and three other vehicles has resulted in the deaths of three people at the scene, and seven others were injured.

Video from SkyFOX shows the pickup truck alongside the bus, and a white car in the intersection of 7th and Missouri avenues.

Mangled cars, glass, and debris were scattered all over the roadway after the collision that happened just before 4:00 p.m. on June 10.

What led up to the crash

When officers responded to a call about a stolen vehicle in the area of 17th and Missouri avenues at 3:47 p.m., they learned a woman was in the car, when a man she knew struck her in the face and took the vehicle. She was able to get out of the car before the man fled with it.

At 3:50 p.m., dispatchers received 911 calls about a multi-vehicle collision at the 7th and Missouri avenues intersection. One of the vehicles matched the description of the stolen vehicle, a dark blue 2010 Cadillac SRX.

Sgt. Ann Justus of the Phoenix Police Department stated the Phoenix Fire Department began medical treatment and pronounced an 18-year-old male and 16-year-old female deceased on scene. 

"Additional medical personnel arrived and transported a total of five people from the scene, including a 45-year-old female with extremely critical injuries, who unfortunately was later pronounced deceased at the hospital," added Justus.

Investigators learned from witnesses and evidence at the scene that the Cadillac was heading eastbound on Missouri Avenue at a high rate of speed and ran a red light at 7th Avenue. The Cadillac collided with a Honda Civic that was travelling south on 7th Avenue with three occupants.

"All three of those occupants lost their lives as a result of the injuries they sustained in the collision. Those three individuals were a mother and her two teen children," said Justus.

They were identified as Courtney Lonergan, Ali Geer, and Almira Geer.

Police say the force of the collision caused the Cadillac and Honda to impact a Dodge Ram pickup truck that was heading north on 7th Avenue. An adult and child inside the truck were transported to a hospital as a precaution; their injuries were not serious.

"The force of that collision pushed the Dodge into a City of Phoenix Bus, that was also travelling north. The bus had one driver and two passengers on board, and none of them required transportation for medical care," said Justus.

When the Cadillac continued to head east, it struck a pedestrian who was crossing Missouri Avenue in the crosswalk. 

The Cadillac then struck a Chevrolet Malibu that was waiting on Missouri Avenue at the red light to head westbound.

The pedestrian and the driver of the Malibu were transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"The driver of the Cadillac was transported to the hospital for injuries sustained in the collision. Impairment and speed are both contributing factors in this collision. Once released from the hospital he will be booked on various charges," said Justus.

Raymond Montgomery

On June 11, the suspect was identified by police as Raymond Montgomery. According to police, Montgomery is accused of three counts of 1st degree murder, a count of robbery, a count of theft of means of transportation, and seven counts of endangerment.

"During the course of this investigation, it was learned that the Cadillac was travelling approximately 97 miles-per-hour seconds before the collision, and about 78 miles-per-hour immediately prior to impact. Montgomery admitted to driving the Cadillac was also positively identified by the victim of the robbery," a statement released by Phoenix Police officials read, in part.

Montgomery told detectives that he had taken PCP and smoked pot before it happened. Police say he was helping a woman move into an apartment last week when he attacked her and her boyfriend before stealing her Cadillac. 

Raymond Montgomery

Raymond Montgomery

Witnesses describe scene

Andy, who was in the area, describe what happened.

"A huge bang, almost sounds like an explosion. Turned around, looked at the scene, very sad, very disturbing. We tried to get there as quick as possible, started compression, in one of the persons that was laying there. It's unbelievable, I have never seen anything like this in real life," said Andy.

Ryan Curry, who drove the truck involved in the crash, said the situation quickly unfolded.

"Out of the left corner of my eye coming east, an SUV just rolling. I don't know how fast. It seemed like 50 or 60 miles per hour, but I have no idea. Hit me split second, which slammed me into the bus over there," said Curry.

Curry said the first thing he did after the crash was to check on his son.

"My 5-year-old was in the back seat, and that was my only concern," said Curry. "Luckily, he's alright and I'm alright, so we are lucky."

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