Phoenix Man Charged With Manslaughter After Driving 90 m.p.h. Into Tree, Killing Friend; Tells Cops he was "Emotional"

Joseph Bryon Lucas was planning on going on a trip to Europe with his best friend. That is, until he killed his pal by driving his car 90 miles per hour into a tree.

Police say Lucas, 18, called 9-1-1 just after midnight Tuesday, saying that he had crashed his 2004 Nissan Sentra into a tree near the intersection of East Cave Creek Road and North Mule Train Road in Carefree.

Firemen arrived at the scene of the crash to find his friend and roommate, Antonio Sandoval, dead in the passenger seat.

Records obtained by New Times show that Lucas and Sandoval were planning to travel to Europe together, and Lucas decided to phone his ex-girlfriend to tell her about the trip.

Lucas told police he became "emotional" after the conversation with the girl, and that he "liked to drive fast to clear his emotional thoughts."

Police say Lucas was driving very fast, to the tune of "at least" 90 mph, in a 35 mph zone, before he lost control and slid sideways into a tree.

Police say alcohol was not a factor in the wreck.

Lucas was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on a charge of reckless manslaughter.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley