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Mon, Dec. 16

Driver may face charges in Hwy. 69 crash

PRESCOTT VALLEY – A 16-year-old Prescott Valley teen-ager who was driving a 1989 Honda may face criminal charges in connection with Friday's fatal accident involving multiple cars on Highway 69 in Prescott Valley.

The "Blood Alley" crash near Sundog Ranch Road killed a 17-year-old Prescott Valley teen-ager, David Doran, and sent six of his teen-age friends, including the Honda's driver, Brandon Prime, and two drivers from other vehicles to local and Phoenix-area hospitals.

The fatality also caused the closure of Highway 69 between Prescott and Prescott Valley for several hours as investigators tried to piece together the chain of events that took place over the course of a few moments.

This stretch of Highway 69 has earned the nickname "Blood Alley" because of the significant number of fatal traffic accidents that have occurred in the past.

PVPD Lt. P.J. Janik said on Monday that authorities filed no criminal charges at this point against anyone. He said the charges are pending toxicology results.

Janik said previously that a preliminary investigation indicates that Prime, for unknown reasons, was swerving his westbound vehicle from side to side before he lost control and crossed the center line into on-coming traffic. It struck an eastbound 1999 Durango SUV that a 56-year-old Prescott Valley woman, Sharon Steirman, was driving.

The SUV continued traveling and then hit an eastbound 1987 Chevy pickup, which a 45-year-old Dewey man, Eddie Reed, was driving.

Janik said at about this time another eastbound vehicle, a 2001 Mitsubishi four-door, hit the Honda, which was sitting left of the center of the roadway.

All seven Honda occupants, including Prime, suffered injuries. Doran, who died at the scene, was in the Honda's trunk at the time of the accident.

Janik said although the investigators have an idea why Doran was in the trunk, they have no evidence of foul play.

"I do not think there is any indication at this point of time of any kind of foul play," he said. "I haven't heard that he was a victim of any kind of hazing."

Prime suffered a broken femur and emergency personnel airlifted him to John C. Lincoln North Hospital in Phoenix. A passenger who was sitting next to him, Ryan Koek, 15, also air evacuated to the same hospital.

Paramedics took Rachel Cronk, 16, to Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), but later they air lifted her to Good Samaritan. Her condition was listed as serious at the time. Elisabeth Gorski, 16, also went to Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment of serious injuries while emergency personnel airlifted Sandra Gullage, 17, to John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix. She suffered lacerations to her face among other injuries, according to Janik.

Autumn Baeighley, 16, received treatment for minor injuries at YRMC as well as Steirman and the Mitsubishi driver, Daniel Huck, 19, of Prescott. Doctors released them later.

Reed did not suffer any injuries that required immediate medical attention, according to the PVPD press release.

Janik said all the juveniles reside either in Prescott Valley or Dewey.

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