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Man arrested after crash killed Maui college student in Phoenix

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A man suspected of driving impaired has been arrested for allegedly causing a wrong-way freeway crash in Phoenix that killed three Grand Canyon University students, authorities said Monday. One of the students was a 19-year-old woman from Maui.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said 25-year-old Vincent Ian Acosta has been booked into jail on suspicion of three counts of second-degree murder plus endangerment charges.

It was unclear Monday if the Laveen resident has a lawyer yet who can speak on his behalf.

DPS officials said Acosta was found unconscious at the scene of the Oct. 10 crash on Interstate 17 and was hospitalized with serious injuries. Acosta was released from a hospital Friday and taken into custody.

Authorities believe Acosta was driving impaired at the time of the pre-dawn crash near New River, which is about 38 miles north of Phoenix.

DPS said 19-year-old Elaine Balberdi of Kula, Hawaiʻi and Abriauna Hoffman and Magdalyn Ogden — both 18 and from Clarkston, Washington — died from injuries suffered in the crash.

Balberdi was the daughter of Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Balberdi, according to a statement from Gov. David Ige.

The three women were freshmen and suitemates at the Phoenix college.

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