Police search for hit-and-run suspect

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A crash scene in the 200 block of E. U.S. Highway 70 on Feb. 4 led officers to search for a driver who allegedly fled the scene after causing the collision. 

According to a Safford Police report, an officer was dispatched to the area at about 6:18 p.m. after a woman reported her vehicle being struck. 

The victim said she was eastbound on U.S. Highway 70 when a silver car suddenly turned left into her lane, nearly hitting her head-on. She said the car struck her driver’s side front tire and then pulled into the west side of the Los Jilbertos restaurant and the driver fled the scene. 

Upon inspection, the officer noted pieces of the silver car were wedged into the victim’s front tire. The officer also noted the suspect’s vehicle sustained severe front-end damage. 

The officer reported the suspect’s vehicle smelled heavily of marijuana. Inside, the officer located a wallet with a Texas driver’s license for Jayson Dillan Gomez. A Freeport McMoRan Inc. employee identification card for Jayson Gomez was also located in the vehicle, along with numerous pay stubs with the same name. 

The officer showed the ID picture to a Los Jilbertos employee who saw the suspected driver flee the vehicle, and the employee positively identified Gomez as the driver. 

The officer had the vehicle towed from the scene and responded to the last known address for the vehicle’s registered owner, who is not Gomez, but was unable to contact the car’s owner or Gomez. 

As of the officer’s filing of his report, the case was still open with no contact having yet been made to the suspect or car’s registered owner.   

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