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One week later, mystery surrounds hit-and-run death of Sun Tran driver

Maggie Vespa

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

One week later, mystery surrounds hit-and-run death of Sun Tran driver

By Maggie Vespa. CREATED May 30, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - He was a father, a grandfather and a longtime city servant.

 
Someone hit him with their car and left him in the street to die.
 
Exactly one week later, deputies have the car.
 
They know who was in inside.
 
What they don't know, is who killed John Akers.
 
The scene told a violent story.
 
"How could someone be that cold?" said his daughter Dixie Akers.
 
It was the story of a man riding his bike around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 24th near Irvington and Mission.
 
He was hit, killed and abandoned.
 
"He was so excited to be a grandfather," said Dixie.
 
One week later, as loved ones prepare to bury 64 year-old John Akers, a longtime Suntran bus driver, authorities work to solve a complex puzzle.
 
"If you could just imagine that, anyone who was involved in this case would be the only person that knows the answers," said Pima County sheriff's deputy Jesus Banuelos.
 
That puzzle is complex because two different men are telling two different tales.
 
Deputies believe both were in the car at the time of the wreck.
 
The question: who was driving?
 
"The sheriff's department and traffic unit are still actively investigating this," said Banuelos.
 
And if they can't answer that question?
 
Then both men could walk free.
 
Attorney Louis Fidel says in Arizona, only the driver has to stay at the scene of a crash.
 
So in this case, only one of the men broke the law.
 
"Any charge that they bring is going to have to be supported by proof," said Fidel.
 
So 9OYS decided to dig for that proof.
 
First, we went to the scene where deputies found the car and suspect # 1, near Ina and Thornydale.
 
Neighbors there opted not to go on camera, but they say around 4:20 that morning, they saw suspect #1 alone trying to push his car up their street.  
 
They say in the process, he hit another car and a mailbox.  
 
He was billigerant.  He was yelling.  They called 9-1-1.
 
One neighbor caught the arrest on camera.
 
Next, we tracked down suspect two.
 
He wouldn't go on camera but tells us he wasn't even in the car that night and didn't see the fatal wreck.
 
It's a tale of two men, two stories and no closure for the Akers family.
 
We tried to track down suspect #1 in this case, but we were unsuccessful.
 
Whoever is resposible, is looking at one count each of 2nd degree murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
 
Meanwhile, Sun Tran tells 9OYS they are holding a day of rememberance for Akers on Friday, May 31st.  
 
Buses will drive with their headlights on.  The company encourages other drivers to do the same.
 
Akers worked for the company for 39 years.
 
His family tells 9OYS, Akers' funeral is set for Saturday in Sierra Vista.