Fatal crash

The investigation into the crash was still underway at 2 p.m., more than seven hours after the collision.

A Nogales woman died and two other people were injured as the result of a head-on collision on Mariposa Road on Friday, according to Cpl. Oscar Mesta of the Nogales Police Department.

Mesta identified the victim as 43-year-old Maria Gonzalez, who died after being airlifted to Banner University Medical Center in Tucson.

At approximately 6:56 a.m. Friday, NPD officers responded to a collision involving a maroon 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe and a silver 2008 Ford Expedition on Mariposa Road, between Congress Drive and Interstate 19.

Gonzalez was the driver of the Santa Fe. Two other occupants of the Santa Fe were treated for their injuries at a hospital.

Mesta added that a preliminary investigation had revealed that the driver of the Ford Expedition was possibly texting or using social media when his SUV crossed the median and drove into oncoming traffic, eventually colliding head-on with the other vehicle.

Mesta said that the case would be referred to the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office after the police department completed its investigation.

He said that the driver of the Expedition, who was only identified as a male resident of Nogales, Ariz., was not hospitalized and was not in custody.

The roadway was briefly closed shortly after the accident and again from 10 a.m. until shortly before 4 p.m. during the police department’s investigation, Mesta added.

The City of Nogales and State of Arizona both passed laws this spring prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while driving. And while the state's law won't be enforced until 2020, NPD announced at the beginning of June that it had already begun enforcing the local ordinance and that officers could issue citations at their discretion starting July 1.

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