89A collision sends nine to hospitals
Seven children involved, helicopters fly four
PRESCOTT VALLEY - A Chevy Suburban broadsided a white sedan that crossed over the center line of Highway 89A near the fairgrounds entrance late Saturday afternoon, sending nine people to the hospital with what Prescott Valley police believe are non-life-threatening injuries.
Prescott Valley police officers closed the roadway at Coyote Springs Road and 89A for a couple of hours to conduct an accident scene investigation.
"Drivers traveling eastbound on 89A were being turned around on Coyote Springs," Prescott Valley Police Department Commander Laura Molinaro said. "If they were traveling westbound on 89A, they were being turned around at the fairgrounds."
Molinaro said a full-size Chevy Suburban traveling westbound struck a white Acura Integra sedan that was headed east on its passenger side.
"The white car, for some reason, crossed center line broadside," Molinaro said. "We have absolutely no idea at this point (if alcohol or drugs were involved). At this point, we cannot even speculate if there was any impairment."
Emergency personnel air evacuated the 16-year-old female driver of the Integra, who was at fault in the wreck, to the hospital. Her passenger also went to the hospital.
The 33-year-old female driver of the Suburban was traveling with seven children in her vehicle. The youngsters approximately range in age from 3 to 14 years old, Molinaro said.
Emergency personnel flew three of the seven children to the hospital, Molinaro said. Four other children went to Yavapai Regional Medical Center's West and East campus emergency rooms. The driver of the Suburban received minor injuries. YRMC later sent another of the children to hospital in Phoenix.
The patients went to John C. Lincoln North Hospital in Phoenix, Flagstaff Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, although Molinaro was unsure where each of them went.
"We do not expect this to go fatal," Molinaro said. "We expect it to be an injury collision only. But the Suburban did some pretty major damage to the white vehicle."
The accident occurred a little after 5 p.m. Saturday one- to two-tenths of a mile west from the entrance to Yavapai Downs on 89A.
Prescott Valley police, Central Yavapai Fire District firefighters, Department of Public Safety officers and LifeLine Ambulance paramedics responded to the scene.
UPDATE: As of 10 p.m. Saturday, YRMC West had released two of the children, and the driver of the Suburban and another of her children were expected to be able to go home Saturday night.