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Fri, Oct. 18

Chino Valley man dies in motorcycle crash

CHINO VALLEY – Richard Skalak, 49, of Chino Valley, died Sunday night after a pickup truck collided with the motorcycle he was driving at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Highway 89 near Road 4 North.

According to a report from the Chino Valley Police Department (CVPD), Skalak was driving his motorcycle southbound on Highway 89.

Apparently, Robert Markum, 38, of Goodyear, who was driving his Ford pickup northbound on Highway 89, began a left turn onto Road 4 North, right in front of Skalak's motorcycle.

Chino Valley Fire District Capt. Jack Miller said Skalak died on impact.

CVPD public information officer Sgt. Mark Garcia said emergency medical personnel flew Skalak's passenger, 38-year-old Laura Franks of Paulden, to St. Joseph's in Phoenix, where she is in "extremely critical condition" as the result of a closed head injury.

Neither passenger on the motorcycle was wearing a helmet.

Emergency personnel treated and released Markum and his passenger, Gail Owens, 72, of Tolleson, at the scene.

Yavapai County Sheriff's Office investigators will continue to investigate the accident, the report states. Garcia said police took a blood sample from Markum at the scene, as is common with all fatal accident investigations.

Highway 89 from Road 3 North to Road 5 North remained closed for about three-and-a-half hours Sunday night while officers investigated at the scene.


• PRESCOTT – Officers from the Prescott Police Department (PPD) Saturday found 16-year-old Vanessa Page of Prescott, who'd been missing since the previous Tuesday, and arrested her on charges of third-degree burglary.

Around 7:40 p.m. Saturday, police dispatch received a call from the father of a 15-year-old male friend of Vanessa's. He told police that a friend of one of his other children had told him she spotted Vanessa at Prescott High School (PHS).

Dispatch personnel sent police officers to PHS, where they eventually found Vanessa and her 15-year-old friend in the faculty lounge eating popcorn and drinking soda.

According to a report from the PPD, the two juveniles said they broke into PHS through an unlocked cafeteria door because they had been "on the run" for a few days and were trying to find something to eat and drink.

Police booked both juveniles into the Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of runaway juvenile and third-degree burglary.

• PRESCOTT – A two-vehicle collision at 5:30 p.m. Sunday near the intersection of Highway 69 and Lee Boulevard sent three people to Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

According to a report from the Prescott Police Department, both the 2003 Subaru station wagon and the 2004 Nissan sedan involved in the accident sustained disabling damage.

The driver of the Subaru, 53-year-old Parshalla Wood of Prescott, and both the driver and the passenger of the Subaru, 27-year old Andrew Zvendel and 28-year-old Gwen Zvendel, both of Avondale, went to YRMC.

The report did not specify the accident's cause.

• PRESCOTT – Just before 1 a.m. Sunday, six people suffered injuries in a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Montezuma Street and Navajo Road.

According to a report from the Prescott Police Department (PPD), the driver of a 1991 Lincoln Town Car was traveling east on Navajo approaching Montezuma.

He allegedly didn't stop for the stop sign and as he proceeded through the intersection at Montezuma, the driver of a 1997 Pontiac, traveling north on Montezuma, hit the Lincoln Town Car.

The report states that the Lincoln's driver fled the scene.

Prescott Fire Department (PFD) and Central Yavapai Fire District personnel responded to the scene.

Four of the Pontiac's five passengers went to Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and one went by helicopter to a Phoenix hospital.

The Lincoln's passenger went to YRMC and police later located the driver in YRMC's emergency room.

Dave Peterson, PFD spokesman, said the Lincoln's driver was a 21-year-old male. His passenger, a 29-year-old female, suffered a skull fracture.

Four of the Pontiac's passengers suffered, respectively, a head injury, a knee injury, a rib fracture and facial lacerations. Peterson did not know what kind of injuries the Pontiac's driver suffered.

PPD will not release the victims' names until officers notify their families.

• Law enforcement officials from throughout the tri-city area will participate in a 24-hour zero-tolerance traffic enforcement detail beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The detail will take place on Highway 69 between Prescott Country Club in Dewey and Gurley Street in Prescott.

Prescott Valley Police Department traffic officer Danny Oen said this week's is the first of many such details. After this, the departments will work together to perform unannounced details.

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