Phoenix Woman Arrested in Fatal Hit and Run; Victim a Teen Walking Home From Work

On October 29, 18-year-old Joey Romero was walking home from his job at the 99 Cent Store near 83rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road, when a car jumped the curb, went up onto the sidewalk, and hit him before fleeing the scene. Romero was killed, and today, the woman police believe was behind the wheel of the car is behind bars.

Yesterday, Peoria police arrested 23-year-old Laura Flanders, who they believe ran Romero over before taking off as though nothing happened.

Flanders has been in the department's cross hairs since the day after the incident, October 30, when police say tips from people in the community led them to her door.

Officers impounded Flanders' car, a silver 2002 Chevy Trailblazer, which is believed to be the car that hit Romero.

Police took Flanders in for questioning, collected more evidence, and took her into custody yesterday.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning -- the day before Halloween. We asked Peoria police spokesman Mike Tellef if there's any indication that Flanders was out partying prior to hitting Romero with her car. He says police are still investigating whether she was intoxicated at the time and are waiting on blood work taken the day after the incident.

Even though Flanders' blood was taken about 24 hours after she allegedly hit Romero with her car, Tellef says, crime labs have ways of determining whether she was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

Flanders has been charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision involving a death.

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James King
Contact: James King