PRESCOTT A six-vehicle accident on Highway 69 claimed one life Saturday afternoon, sent three people to the hospital and snarled traffic for hours.
The accident occurred at about 4 p.m. Saturday at Highway 69 near the east end of the Frontier Village shopping center, said Jeff Jones, a firefighter/paramedic with the Prescott Fire Department. The cause of the accident remained under investigation as of Saturday evening.
Initial fire department units on the scene reported seeing six vehicles most with heavy damage, Jones said.
The driver of one vehicle died at the scene, Jones said. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
Jones would not release any more details on the motorist because rescue agencies had not notified next of kin as of about 7 p.m.
He said ambulances took three people to Yavapai Regional Medical Center West: a 52-year-old woman who sustained neck and back pain and loss of consciousness, a 49-year-old man with a similar condition and a 45-year-old man with chest pains.
Jones indicated that he did not know whether the three injured people were in the same vehicle and provided no other details about them. The fire department sent three engines and a battalion chief with a total of 10 crew members to the accident scene.
He said the Arizona Department of Public Safety is the primary agency investigating the accident.
The agency continued the investigation of the accident Saturday evening with the help of Yavapai-Prescott Tribal Police, Duty Officer Tom Larson said.
"They are under full investigation now," he said.
Larson, who works in Phoenix, said that he expected Highway 69 to remain closed throughout the remainder of Saturday evening from Prescott Lakes Parkway west to the junction with Highway 89.
After the accident, law enforcement agencies closed off the stretch, diverting westbound traffic on Highway 69 north to Prescott Lakes Parkway and then south on Highway 89.
The diversion from Highway 69 caused bumper-to-bumper traffic on stretches of northbound Highway 89 and southbound Prescott Lakes Parkway, easily doubling commute times.
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