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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:39 PM Wed, Dec. 12th

Prescott man, boy die in head-on collision near Blythe

PRESCOTT, Arizona - A Prescott man and 10-year-old boy were killed in a head-on collision near Palo Verde, Calif., south of Blythe, Tuesday morning.

The California Highway Patrol identified the driver as Richard Antonavich, 54, of Prescott, but did not release the name of the boy. Antonavich's passenger, Wendy Talley, 32, was listed in critical condition in an induced coma at

Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs as of Wednesday morning, a CHP spokesman said.

The crash happened around 5 a.m., when Antonavich's Subaru Baja pickup, driving east about seven miles east of Palo Verde on Highway 78, ran off the right side of the road, then across both lanes of traffic and into the path of a tractor-trailer headed west, according to the CHP report.

The Subaru hit the semi's left front side.

"This is one of the most violent collisions I've seen in quite a while," CHP Officer Robert Sapp said. "It nearly cut the (Subaru) in half."

The truck's driver, a 56-year-old California man, was not injured.

Talley was wearing a seatbelt; investigators said the damage to the Subaru was so severe that they have not been able to determine whether Antonavich or the boy were wearing one. It's unknown why the Su-baru went off the road.