11 Jun 2020
A 27-year-old woman has been arrested for her role in a hit-and-run crash that happened along Interstate 17 near Indian School Road last month.
According to the story appearing on the AZ Central website, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers have arrested Palina Khastal for the death of pedestrian 28-year-old Noelia Gastelum of Phoenix.
Investigators say that on the morning of Monday, May 25th, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Khastal was heading home to meet friends after work when the incident occurred. Khastal told arresting officers that she was approaching the intersection of Interstate 17 and Indian School Road when she changed two lanes in order to get around a work truck. Khastal said she heard a loud boom but didn’t see anything in her mirrors, for it was dark at the time.
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Khastal reportedly stopped at a nearby Wendy’s parking lot to call her mother, her aunt, and a friend but did not call police about the incident. She told investigators that she was scared. It was in the parking lot that DPS troopers found Khastal in her vehicle, which had suffered significant front end damage. Khastal told officers she was just about to call the police when they arrived at the Wendy’s.
While DPS investigators have ruled out impairment as a cause, they found that Khastal was driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash. Pieces of debris found at the scene of the accident matched that of Khastal’s vehicle. She is currently facing the charge of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in injury or death.
The crash remains under investigation.