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Thu, Dec. 12

Evidence suggests driver shot himself before wreck

PRESCOTT – Authorities said Monday that evidence indicates the man who caused a head-on collision Sunday, Charles Russell, 43, of Prescott, shot himself to death before his car crossed the center line, hitting another car and injuring its four passengers.

Around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Prescott Police Department responded to the accident scene on Highway 89 between Willow Lake Road and Prescott Lakes Parkway.

The collision involved a 1998 Dodge pick-up truck and a 1996 Buick sedan. Prescott Police said the Dodge truck was southbound on Highway 89. It crossed the centerline and hit the Buick head-on.

A PPD spokesman said witnesses to the accident said Russell was alone in the car.

Emergency personnel pronounced Russell dead at the scene. The driver of the Buick, Barbara Luten, 64, of Paulden, and her infant granddaughter Angela both are in critical condition in a Phoenix hospital and Angela's parents, Daniel and Jennifer Luten of Paulden, are in stable condition at a Phoenix hospital.

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