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Uber Self-Driving Vehicle Hits, Kills Pedestrian In Tempe

Tempe Sgt. Ronald Elcock
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Tempe Sgt. Ronald Elcock speaks to the media on March 19, 2018.

A 49-year-old woman died after she was struck by a self-driving Uber car whilecrossing a street late Sunday night.

Tempe police say early investigations show the car was going around 40 miles per hour with no significant signs of slowing down before hitting Elaine Herzberg.

Herzberg was crossing Mill Avenue near Curry Road with a bicycle and was not in a crosswalk.

The car was in autonomous mode with 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez behind the wheel.

This is the second accident involving an Uber self-driving car in Tempe, and the first fatality.

“They are going to attempt to try to find who was possibly at fault and how we can better be safe. Whether it’s pedestrians or whether it’s the vehicle itself," said Tempe police spokesman Ronald Elcock.

Elcock said Monday neither the victim nor the driver seemed impaired.

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Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.