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By Adam Sneed
Arizona Republic

PHOENIX - Authorities were investigating a collision that left at least 20 people injured after a van trying to elude police slammed into two vehicles and rolled over Monday near 27th and Southern avenues in Phoenix.
The white Chevrolet van raced down Valley freeways and surface streets, barreling through intersections before hitting a blue Subaru hatchback and a white BMW coupe. The van rolled over and ripped a stop sign from its concrete base.
At least 21 passengers, suspected to be undocumented immigrants, climbed through the van's broken windows and darted into a nearby neighborhood, where several were arrested after jumping fences into backyards.
Authorities located and arrested 21 people who fled the scene, including the driver of the van.
All were taken to local hospitals and treated for injuries ranging from minor bruises to back and neck pains.
Phoenix resident Seray Mutlu, 16, was driving his father to work before going to school around 7:20 a.m. Mutlu was headed north on 27th Avenue when the van rammed his blue Subaru WRX. Mutlu's father, Ramadan, was bleeding from the mouth and unable to breath shortly after the collision. He was taken to the hospital, where his condition reportedly improved.
"They just jumped out of the windows and started running," Mutlu said.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers spotted the van moving erratically on Interstate 10 near Elliot Road about 6:45 a.m.
Officers called for detectives in unmarked vehicles, hoping the van would lead them to a drophouse. The driver apparently noticed authorities and sped off, police said.
DPS Lt. James Warriner said the driver of the van attempted to ram a squad car on 51st Avenue near Interstate 10.
The van turned east onto Southern Avenue, and DPS stopped chasing it between 43rd and 35th avenues as it neared a school zone.
The van then plowed into Mutlu's car at 27th Avenue, near Ed Pastor Elementary School, which was locked down after the people inside the van fled.
Law-enforcement officials from DPS, the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office responded to several calls in the area regarding people jumping fences and running through yards. They say they believe that they have arrested everyone who escaped from the van.
Mutlu said he still planned to attend his classes on Monday.
He watched as tow trucks removed his car from the scene.
"It upsets me," he said. "I love this car . . . and it's totaled now."

Wire Service
 
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