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Wrong-Way Crash Kills Brian Vaughn and Joaquin Ruiz

Jonathan V. O'Steen

February 1, 2022

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Litchfield Park, Arizona—A wrong-way crash on Loop 303 near Bethany Home Road left two people dead early Friday morning.  A pickup truck driven by Fabian Grimaldo, age 21, was northbound in the southbound lanes of Loop 303 when it collided head-on with an SUV driven by Brian Vaughn, age 61 of Surprise.  Mr. Vaughn was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Joaquin Santiago Ruiz, age 21, was a passenger in the wrong-way pickup.  He died of his injuries while being transported to the hospital.  Grimaldo also was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, then jailed upon his release.   

Court documents reveal that Grimaldo’s blood alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit. He faces charges of reckless manslaughter, a class 4 felony.

We offer our deepest sympathy to the victims’ families and friends over this tragic and senseless loss.

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