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Phoenix Arizona

Steven Variale Killed While Changing Flat Tire on I-17

Jonathan V. O'Steen

September 27, 2016

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Phoenix, Arizona—Steven Variale, age 22, was struck and killed Monday night on Interstate 17 while changing a flat tire on his vehicle.  He had pulled his Audi sedan onto the right shoulder of I-17 near 7th Street shortly before midnight.

Two others were helping him change the tire when all three were struck by a Nissan pick-up truck that was southbound on the freeway.  A fourth person was sitting inside the disabled car.

Mr. Variale was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Arizona Department of Public Safety accident investigators identify the three others only as a 41 year old woman, a man in his early 20’s and a young female.  They all suffered minor injuries.

Patricia Variale, Steven’s mother, said that he always stood up for what was right and he always protected his family. “He was my only son.  He was always there for me,”

Ronald Hull, age 61, the driver of the pickup truck, was arrested and charged with manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault and three counts of endangerment. DPS officials state that a preliminary breat test revealed that Hull had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.118, well above the legal limit of 0.08.

We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Variale at this time of great loss for them, and we wish the others speedy recoveries.

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