3 die in accident near Drake<BR>
The Labor Day weekend got off to a tragic start for several drivers on Highway 89 at about 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Special to the Review/Jo. L. Keener
Chino Valley and Ash Fork firefighters move a severely injured person to a helicopter Friday evening for transport, after a car hit a truck broad-side north of the Drake Overpass, north of Paulden. Two persons were dead at the scene and other injured people were transported by ground and air ambulance.
Three people died in a collision near the Drake overpass north of Paulden that day, and another was in still in critical condition, as of Monday morning, after a northbound pickup swerved across the center line and collided with another vehicle.
Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials report that the driver of one vehicle, Kyle Gutierrez, 18, from Hemet, Calif., died at the scene, as did the driver of a second vehicle, Robert Hallowell, 48, of Lake Havasu, Ariz. Hallowell's wife Carmen, 48, died later that evening at the Flagstaff Trauma Center, where medical crews flew her by helicopter, and his 16-year-old daughter Amanda, suffered head injuries. Crews flew her to John C. Lincoln hospital in Phoenix.
Heavy rain was reportedly a factor in the accident. Officials say Gutierrez apparently lost control of his small truck on the wet pavement and crossed the centerline, and Hallowell's 1999 4-door Nissan vehicle broad-sided it. A third vehicle driven by Chino Valley resident Scott Weinland, 30, was involved, but Weinland received no serious injuries.
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.
Gateley said the accident was still under investigation, but added, that "just from appearances, I would say it was weather-related."