Collision occurred near the east entrance of Walmart on Hunt Highway, San Tan Valley (San Tan Valley is in the far south-east Phoenix metro area) Friday evening May 22, 2015. The fatality victim was a passenger in a van that was rear-ended while stopped.
police say: the suspect(s) were impaired, hit-and-ran, hid evidence, lied to police…
by Tim Gaffney (Pinal County S. O. spokesperson):
On Friday, May 22nd, 2015 at 8:58 p.m. the Pinal County Sheriff’s 9-1-1 Communications Center received calls regarding a serious injury hit and run collision, east of the entrance of Walmart on Hunt Highway in San Tan Valley.
The suspect vehicle was described as a Chevy Tahoe. The other vehicle involved, was a Chrysler van which was driven by Jeff Connely, his wife Lisa was in the front passenger seat, and their 17-year-old disabled son Cullen was in the back of the van. Cullen was treated at the scene and transported to a Phoenix area hospital but unfortunately was later pronounced deceased.
Patrol Deputies and our Vehicular Crimes Detectives responded to the scene and an attempt to locate was broadcast to find the suspect vehicle. A witness at the scene gave the license plate information to one of the detectives. The vehicle returned to a truck and not a Chevy Tahoe. The detective ran the plate using various sequences of numbers and letters and got a match to a possible suspect vehicle at a residence in Copper Basin.
Detectives went to the residence in Copper Basin and a short time later a vehicle pulled up by the home. The passengers in the vehicle denied living at the residence or owning the Chevy Tahoe. The driver of the vehicle told the detectives she had picked the two passengers up by the Walmart after they asked for a ride because they were stranded. The passengers were later identified as Boyd Palmer (age 33) and Megan Palmer (age 36). Boyd and Megan were the owners of the vehicle involved in the crash and did live at the residence. Both refused to answer any questions about the crash.
Boyd and Megan showed numerous signs of alcohol impairment.
Detectives determined the Chrysler van had stopped near the entrance of the Walmart on Hunt Highway. The Chevy Tahoe never stopped and slammed into the back of the van.
Detectives were able to locate the Chevy Tahoe hidden near storage containers on the backside of the Walmart. Video surveillance from the Walmart, showed Boyd was driving the vehicle and Megan was the front seat passenger.
After the collision, the couple approached several people asking for a ride before they finally were able to obtain one. Inside of the vehicle detectives found an open bottle of wine.
Boyd Palmer was processed for impaired driving and then booked into the Pinal County Jail for Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Collision and Manslaughter. Megan Palmer was booked into the Jail for Hindering Prosecution and Open Container of Alcohol in a Vehicle.
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “A mother and father tragically lost their 17-year-old son because Boyd Palmer got behind the wheel of his Chevy Tahoe while impaired by alcohol and caused this fatal collision. I am proud of the good work of our Deputies and Detective in tracking down these suspects as we will now seek justice. This is why when a deputy stops a driver on a traffic stop, we will never allow an impaired driver to park their car or get a ride home. Impaired drivers will be arrested and charged every time. Our hearts go out to the Connely family for their tragic loss.”