Officials: Driver who struck, killed police officer was texting and driving

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The man accused of hitting and killing a Salt River police officer while texting and driving on the Loop 101 has been released from jail after posting bond.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Officer Clayton Townsend was conducting a traffic stop on a white vehicle for expired registration along the northbound lanes of the Loop 101, just south of the McDowell Road off-ramp, when he was hit by a black vehicle driven by 40-year-old Jerry Sanstead.

DPS says Officer Townsend was standing on the driver's side door of the white vehicle when the black car entered the right-side emergency lane and hit him.

Officer Townsend suffered head trauma and was taken to Honor Health Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

He leaves behind a wife and 10-month-old child.

DPS says the driver the of the white vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries.

Sanstead, a resident of Scottsdale, told authorities that he was driving home from work and texting his wife about plans for the evening when the accident occurred.

A witness also told DPS the driver of the black vehicle was looking down at his phone before crossing into the emergency lane.

Sanstead was arrested and has been booked into jail on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment.

He was released from jail early Thursday morning after posting a $100,000 bond.

GoFundMe for Officer Clayton Townsend