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Sun, Oct. 20

<I>DPS: Collision weather-related</I><BR>3 die after accident on Highway 89<BR><BR>

Heavy rain was reportedly a factor in the accident. Officials say the driver of the truck apparently lost control on the wet pavement and crossed the center line, and the second vehicle broad-sided it.

Paramedics from the Chino Valley Fire District and the Ash Fork Fire Department treated the injured at the scene, and two helicopters also were on hand to transport the injured to area hospitals.

Chino Valley Fire District Chief Chuck Tandy reported that the department sent two fire engines, and called for three ambulances and a helicopter upon getting the accident call late Friday afternoon.

When they arrived at the scene, fire department officials found that the drivers of two of the vehicles had died, and two passengers were in "level-one trauma." The fire department then called for a second helicopter, which arrived from Wickenburg.

One of the level-one trauma patients died later Friday after a helicopter transported her to the Flagstaff Trauma Center. The other trauma patient went by helicopter to a Phoenix hospital.

DPS Officer Randy Gateley reported Saturday morning that the second trauma patient had suffered head injuries and was at John C. Lincoln Hospital.

The driver of the third vehicle suffered no serious injuries.

Gateley said the accident was still under investigation, but added, that "just from appearances, I would say it was weather-related."

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