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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
12:43 PM Wed, Dec. 12th

Colleagues mourn 2 officers' deaths<BR>Infant boy reportedly in good condition after Thursday crash

PRESCOTT – A 16-month-old baby boy, the sole survivor in Thursday's triple fatal accident on Highway 169 in Dewey, is in good condition, according to a St. Joseph's Hospital official in Phoenix.

Michael Worsham suffered massive trauma and emergency personnel airlifted him to Phoenix shortly after the 8 p.m. collision took place near mile marker 1 on Highway 169 between Foothill Drive and Highway 69.

His 21-year-old mother, Christy Elizabeth Worsham of Camp Verde, Jacob Teague, 24, of Camp Verde, and Jimmy Claxton, 75, of Dewey, died at the scene.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is still investigating the accident, but according to their initial report one of the two vehicles involved – a red Chevy, possibly a Blazer, and a white Toyota Camry – crossed the centerline and hit the other vehicle head-on at an estimated speed of 90 miles per hour. On Friday, DPS did not have updated information on the accident.

Teague and Worsham, who traveled together with the infant, worked for law enforcement agencies in Yavapai County.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO), one month before the date of her death, YCSO hired Worsham, who previously lived in Yuma, to work at the new Camp Verde Jail as a detention officer.

Officers who worked with her said she was soft-spoken but had a great sense of humor and enjoyed her new job tremendously, the YCSO report says. She was looking forward to a long career in law enforcement and hoped to go into a patrol position some day. Her brother, who lives out of the area, and her son survive Worsham, YCSO says.

"Christy will be greatly missed by her fellow workers," YCSO said.

Teague was a lifelong resident of Camp Verde and became a Camp Verde Marshal's Office (CVMO) deputy in August of 2000, according to a CVMO press release.

"Jacob was a pleasure to work with. His attitude towards his duties and his fellow employees was a great influence among his CVMO brothers and sisters," the press release says. "Jacob will be missed beyond words by not only his family, but his extended CVMO family."

Last July, Teague became a member of the Prescott Area Narcotics Task Force (PANT) team.

PANT Sgt. Walter Spokes said he was shocked to learn about Teague's death.

"He was an outstanding officer, well liked," he said. "He worked primarily in the Verde Valley area. He was definitely a team member. I wish I could have more officers like him. He was a self starter, self motivated."

Spokes said Teague's immediate family lives in Camp Verde.

CVMO said because Teague was off duty at the time of his death the Public Safety Retirement plan does not include a life insurance policy that would help Teague's family with the upcoming funeral costs. Citizens interested in helping to cover these costs can earmark their donations to the Jacob Teague Memorial Fund at any National Bank of Arizona.

It is not clear whether Claxton had any family in the area, but according to the DPS, a next-of-kin notification went to his daughter in California.

Contact the reporter at mburicadam@prescottaz.com