Police: Driver in crash that killed teen may have been speeding

Cholla High students grieve death of classmate Joana Sendino

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Authorities believe the driver who hit and killed a teen on the west side of Tucson early Thursday morning may have been speeding.

The Tucson Police Department said Joana Sendino, 17, was struck while crossing Silverlake Road near the Pima County Jail.

The TPD said Sendino, who was a senior at Cholla High, stepped onto roadway just after a large truck passed. A vehicle that was following behind the truck could not stop in time and hit Sendino.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash, but no charges have been filed as of 4 p.m. Friday. The driver stayed on scene and cooperated with officials.

A teen was hit by a car near Silverlake Road and Cottonwood Lane on Thursday, Feb. 28. (Source: KOLD News 13)
A teen was hit by a car near Silverlake Road and Cottonwood Lane on Thursday, Feb. 28. (Source: KOLD News 13)

Family members gathered at a small memorial Thursday night in her memory. On Friday, people left flowers and candles at the scene while counselors were at the school to help the students.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help with funeral expenses. It can be viewed HERE.

The Tucson Unified School District sent this letter to Cholla High School families regarding the tragedy:

Dear Cholla Parents/Guardians:

It is with great sadness I must inform you of the death of a Cholla Student.

We encourage you to talk with your child. How we, as adults, manage ourselves serves as an important model for helping kids handle tragedies like this. It is important that they know they are loved and supported as they talk about their feelings.

We have had a team of counselors and District support at school throughout the day to provide emotional support for our students and staff. If you have special counseling concerns or would like additional support for your child, please call us at 520-225-4004.

Our deepest sympathies go to the family.

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