Arrest in fatal cycle hit-and-run

Elliot Durell Saddleblanket, 35, has been arrested and charged with fatal hit and run accident in Cottonwood last Saturday night.

A resident of the Yavapai-Apache Middle Verde community, Saddleblanket fled after striking Thomas Geno Scafidi's motorcycle from the rear with his car. The 32-year-old motorcyclist from Glendale was in the westbound lane of 89A preparing turning right onto Verde Heights Drive at the time that his bike was struck.

Scafidi was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center, but died at the hospital just before midnight.

Police say that Saddleblanket fled the scene after the accident and an attempt to locate was issued for the white Monte Carlo vehicle that witnesses had identified. He did not own the car, but had permission to use it that night.

A white 2003 Monte Carlo was involved in a pursuit with a DPS unit Sunday in Prescott Valley that ended when the Monte Carlo crashed. Both occupants of the vehicle were flown to Phoenix due to injuries.

Saddleblanket was not in the vehicle when it crashed Sunday night, but Yavapai-Apache Police questioned him about the vehicle after the Prescott Valley pursuit. At that time they determined that he might have been involved in the fatal accident in Cottonwood.

An investigator from the Cottonwood Police Department inspected the Monte Carlo and found physical evidence to indicate that it is likely the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run fatal collision in Cottonwood.

Saddleblanket is held on one count of manslaughter and one count of felony leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

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