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Family remembers victim killed in Arizona wrong-way crash

The family of a man they say was killed in a car crash Sunday is looking for answers. A total of three people died in the wrong-way collision.

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. — The family of a man they’ve identified as having been killed in a car crash Sunday morning is searching for answers in his death. 

Victor Manuel Perez Corrales, 26, was one of three people killed on State Route 87 just south of Shea Boulevard early Sunday morning.

His siter-in-law, Zoyla Flores Baez, said she saw an Instagram post about he crash Sunday morning and recognized one of the trucks involved. 

“We pulled up and they were telling us to leave,” Baez said. “And I was like, no, my brother-in-law was in that truck.”

DPS troopers said it was a wrong-way crash. A truck heading southbound on State Route 87 was in the northbound lanes. 

Three people, all passengers, were killed in the crash. Both drivers survived and were taken to the hospital, according to a DPS spokesperson. 

DPS is still investigating and troopers have not ruled out impairment, the spokesperson said. 

Baez said Corrales had been at their house in the early morning hours of Sunday. He and some friends then got into a truck and drove away. Baez said she didn’t know where they were headed or why they ended up on SR-87. 

Baez said Corrales had only been living in the U.S. for a few years with his remaining family. 

“He was an amazing person,” Baez said. “Very humble, he would take the shirt off his back and give it to anybody.”

How big is Maricopa County?

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.

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