(Reuters) – A 21-year-old man tried to bribe sheriff’s deputies in Arizona with a wad of cash after crashing his car in a fiery, rollover collision that killed a 27-year-old woman in the passenger seat, authorities said.
Joseph Wilson, 21, first gave a fake name to an officer who responded to the scene of the accident southeast of Phoenix, and then he tried to give him the banknotes, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
“Wilson pulled out a ‘wad of cash’ and attempted to hand it to the deputy and said, ‘It doesn’t have to be like this,'” the statement said.
The sheriff’s office said it received a 911 call late on Sunday from someone who reported a vehicle was on fire following a crash in the San Tan Valley area, and that a female passenger was trapped inside.
Wilson’s 1965 Ford sports car was engulfed in flames and quickly exploded, the sheriff’s office said in the statement issued on Monday. Detectives are waiting for the medical examiner’s office to confirm the dead woman’s identity before releasing her name.
Citing a witness, police said Wilson had been drinking with the victim and others, and said he was giving her a ride home.
After being treated in the hospital for injuries sustained in the crash and giving a blood sample to be tested for alcohol concentration, he was booked into the Maricopa County Jail for manslaughter, bribery and false reporting to police.
“Deputies asked Wilson about the crash and his reply was he didn’t know what he was going to do because that car was his life,” the sheriff’s office said in its statement.
It was not immediately clear if Wilson had an attorney.