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Sun, April 21

Double-fatal accident investigation continues<BR>Son of victims questions delay

PRESCOTT – The family of Ivan and Olinda Emley, the Bullhead City couple who died in a May accident on Highway 89 near Paulden, is in disbelief that authorities have not yet filed any charges against 38-year-old Elizabeth Matthews of Prescott, who allegedly caused the accident.

John Faulkner, Mrs. Emley's son who served 23 years with Los Angeles law enforcement, said he doesn't understand why officials need six months to file charges after the double-fatal accident.

"I'm very upset about that," he said. "I think something went wrong from the start of their investigation. I think it is a travesty for us citizens to wait six months for prosecution. Someone is dragging their feet."

Matthews' lawyer, Billy Hicks, said his client is terribly sorry that the accident happened.

"She has been grieved by the loss of these lives and injuries to the other people," he said.

Faulkner said his mother and stepfather who died in the crash just four miles from his Chino Valley residence, were on their way home after a two-day visit with his family.

According to the June 10 search warrant that DPS obtained on Matthews' 2001 Ford Expedition, on May 28, she was southbound on Highway 89 when she allegedly crossed the double yellow line on a blind curve while trying to pass an 18-wheeler that was hauling a load of flagstone. The investigation alleges that Matthews was traveling much faster than the posted 65-mph speed limit.

While in the northbound lane, she reportedly struck a pickup truck and then a Mercury. The driver of the Mercury, Mr. Emley, died at the scene, and Mrs. Emley died 10 days later from respiratory failure.

The pickup driver and a passenger suffered minor injuries. Doctors at Yavapai Regional Medical Center treated Matthews for minor injuries before releasing her.

Hicks said he doesn't have any comments on information in the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Prescott Police Department (PPD) reports.

"I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further about that," he said.

Deputy Yavapai County Attorney Dennis McGrane said his office requested that DPS conduct an additional investigation before it can determine "whether this was a criminal liability or a horrible accident."

DPS Sgt. Tim Bolger, who was on the accident scene, said that prosecutors want to reconstruct the accident.

"There are several things that needed to happen for the reconstruction of that accident," he said. "Our DPS investigators and our accident reconstruction unit are working on that."

He said they are experiencing a delay because only a handful of reconstruction experts are available in their department.

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