Man who caused deadly crash had meth in wallet, police say

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Pablo Meza mugshot
Source: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The man who police say caused a deadly crash near 15th Avenue and Bethany Home Road Monday morning had meth hidden in his wallet, according to court documents.

 PD: Suspected impaired driver runs red light in Phoenix; causes deadly crash

According to police paperwork, 19-year-old Pablo Cruz Meza was driving eastbound on Bethany Home Road when he ran a red light at 15th Avenue, hitting a Nissan Sentra that was heading south. The driver of the Sentra, 23-year-old Selemawit Negash, died from her injuries at the hospital. According to Meza, he told police he was going 40 to 50 miles per hour and did not see the red light. 

Police say officers found a glass pipe commonly used to smoke meth with residue in it inside Meza’s car. While being interviewed at the hospital, detectives noted Meza’s bloodshot, watery eyes, and noticed his pupils were dilated as well. According to police, Meza’s blood pressure and heart rate were also above the average range.  

Meza admitted to police that he had smoked meth and marijuana in the past, but would not say when was the last time he used either. When police conducted a search of Meza’s wallet, they found a folded dollar bill with a crystal-like substance believed to be meth in it. According to police, Meza did not have a current and valid driver’s license because his license was currently suspended for failure to appear in court. Police noted that Meza was previously arrested on September 2nd for bringing in or harboring illegal immigrants.

Meza was processed for driving under the influence of drugs, and faces potential charges for one count of reckless manslaughter and one count of dangerous possession or use of drugs.

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