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Former cop among two fatally hit while trying to help injured dog, Arizona police say

In World
January 09, 2024

Two men who rushed into a street to help a dog hit by a car died after being struck by other vehicles, Arizona authorities reported.

Nooraly Lalji, 47, and John Wintersteen, 78, died in the accident Sunday, Jan. 7, in Paradise Valley, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement to McClatchy News.

Lalji, driving a Mercedes Benz, struck the dog in the street at 6:38 p.m., then turned around and went back to help the dog, officials said.

Wintersteen, a nearby neighbor, also went to help the dog. Both were hit by a Lexus RX, then at least one also was run over by a Nissan Sentra, officials said.

Both men were taken to a Scottsdale hospital, where they died, officials said. The dog also died. The two drivers involved remained at the scene and are cooperating with investigators.

Wintersteen was a former Paradise Valley police chief, according to a news release from the department. He served as chief from 1995 to 2009, volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America and helped organize the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in the community.

“Chief Wintersteen’s legacy is woven into the fabric of our department, and we will miss him dearly,” police said.

Paradise Valley is about 15 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix.

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