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Thu, Nov. 21

YCSO makes arrests nine months later

PRESCOTT – Nearly nine months after an 18-year-old Chino Valley resident and her unborn child died in a head-on collision, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) arrested two people on warrants.

Michael Spencer Hartsock, 26, faces charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage and DUI. A judge has set a $50,000 bond for his release.

Christopher Alan Hellin, 28, of Chino Valley is in custody on suspicion of four counts of aggravated DUI with juveniles in the vehicle. A judge has not set a bond in his case.

YCSO spokeswoman Susan Quayle said that deputies arrested the suspects on Thursday, the same day they obtained warrants for their arrests.

She said she doesn’t know why the arrests took place nearly nine months after the initial incident, particularly considering that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The Daily Courier was unable to reach Lt. David Starin, the supervisor of the deputy, who has investigated the April 30, 2005, accident on Road 4 North, just west of Reed Road in Chino Valley.

A westbound Chevy truck and an eastbound Ford Bronco collided head-on leaving two dead and five injured, a YCSO press release states.

Cassandra Lang, 18, who was six-months pregnant, died. She was a passenger in the Ford Bronco that Hartsock was driving.

Hellin was the driver of the Chevy truck. The passengers in his car included his wife Amy, 24, 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. Authorities believe she was sitting in her mom’s lap at the time of the crash.

Emergency personnel airlifted Amy Hellin and Lang to Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). Hellin’s daughter went to St. Joseph hospital in Phoenix via helicopter. Hellin, his son and Hartsock received treatment at YRMC.

The press release states that the parties knew each other.

Quayle said it appears that the drivers were “playing chicken” which led to the head-on collision.

She said she is unsure whether the investigation produced any evidence to prove that.

Quayle said Hellin was previously in the jail on drug-related charges and charges that pertain to racing on the highway.

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