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Wed, June 19

Midday collision kills 2, injures 1

Courier/Les Stukenberg
Two people died and one was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital in this two-vehicle collision just east of Walker Road on Highway 69 in Prescott Tuesday morning.

Courier/Les Stukenberg Two people died and one was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital in this two-vehicle collision just east of Walker Road on Highway 69 in Prescott Tuesday morning.

PRESCOTT – A two-vehicle collision killed two men and delayed thousands of motorists on Highway 69 near Walker Road on Tuesday afternoon.

Prescott Police Sgt. Richard Gill said Oscar William Holden, 74, of Prescott Valley, was westbound on Highway 69 when he crossed into eastbound traffic immediately east of Walker Road. Holden’s white Buick struck Joseph Conti’s eastbound truck, Gill said. The collision occurred at 11:15 a.m.

Conti’s passenger – a 77-year-old Philadelphia man named Joseph Semprevivo – and Holden were both dead when authorities arrived at the scene, Gill said.

He said medical workers flew Conti, a 60-year-old Dewey resident, to a Phoenix hospital, adding that he did not know of Conti’s exact injuries, but noted that he appeared to have broken bones and other injuries.

Jeff Jones, a spokesman for the Prescott Fire Department, said that Conti was awake and aware of his surroundings as medical personnel loaded him into the helicopter.

Holden wore a seatbelt at the time of the wreck, however Semprevivo and Conti were not belted, police said. Gill said that alcohol or drugs did not appear to play a role in the collision, but added that the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine that during its investigation.

Police blocked the eastbound lanes of Highway 69 for four hours while they investigated the scene, according to a news release. Officers reduced westbound traffic on Highway 69 to one lane until about 3:30 p.m., which caused bumper-to-bumper traffic between Sundog Ranch and Walker roads.

Police are still investigating the crash, and Gill said that he did not know why Holden drove into the eastbound lanes.

The Prescott Fire Department sent four engines and three battalion chiefs to the scene, and the Central Yavapai Fire District also sent at least one engine to the wreck.

Contact the reporter at jkamin@prescottaz.com

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