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Mon, Oct. 14

Fiery accident seriously injures two

PRESCOTT ­ Two people suffered serious injuries on Tuesday when a tractor-trailer, a passenger car and a pickup collided on Highway 89 at the Drake overpass between Paulden and Ash Fork.

Emergency personnel airlifted the driver of the pickup to the Maricopa Medical Center burn unit in Phoenix in serious condition, said Capt. Allen Harris of the Chino Valley Fire District (CVFD).

The second helicopter took the driver from the passenger car to John C. Lincoln hospital in Phoenix, also in serious condition, he said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, which was pulling half of a modular home, did not suffer any injuries, Harris said. Ages and names of the victims were unavailable.

A witness at the scene said that the 3:10 p.m. crash at milepost 346.5 occurred when the southbound passenger car ran into the back of the tractor-trailer and then spun onto the northbound lane, hitting the pickup head on. The truck then burst into flames. The witness said a dog perished in the fire.

Three CVFD engines and an Ash Fork engine responded to the scene, along with two helicopters, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) crews.

Police closed the highway while officers investigated the crash, which caused a traffic backup that stretched for at least two miles in both directions.

At around 6:30 p.m. a DPS dispatcher in Flagstaff said an ADOT crew cleared the wet road from debris and the highway reopened around 5:50 p.m.

Law enforcement investigated another accident around 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday at the Fain Road and Highway 69 intersection. Prescott Valley Police Cmdr. Laura Molinaro said a Toyota Camry was turning left onto the highway from the Prescott County Club when an eastbound Ford F-150 pickup hit it.

She said that the Toyota received the impact on the driver's side. She said both airbags deployed.

The initial investigation indicated that the pickup may have run the red light because some witnesses saw a green arrow when the driver in the Toyota attempted to make a left-hand turn onto the highway, Molinaro said.

She said that the driver of the pickup claimed that he didn't see the light change.

Paramedics treated both drivers at the scene and then released the pickup driver but took the other one to Yavapai Regional Medical Center for additional medical evaluation.

Molinaro said that she didn't have additional information on this accident.

The crash delayed traffic for some time.

Contact the reporter at mburic@prescottaz.com

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