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4:34 AM Tue, Sept. 25th

Driver dies in Highway 89 accident

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p>
Emergency personnel begin to the clean up the scene of a one- vehicle fatal accident on Highway 89 a few miles north of Paulden Tuesday evening.

Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier<p> Emergency personnel begin to the clean up the scene of a one- vehicle fatal accident on Highway 89 a few miles north of Paulden Tuesday evening.

The driver of a truck that broke through a guardrail on Highway 89 north of Paulden Tuesday and plunged at least 25 feet down a steep embankment died at the scene, said N.A. Teel, a patrolman with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

The 3:30 p.m. accident injured two children who were passengers in the truck, Teel said. Rescuers flew one child by helicopter to a Phoenix hospital. They took the other child by ambulance to Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Their conditions were unknown as of press time.

Police theorize the driver may have had a seizure, Teel said, because the pavement showed no signs of braking and because the truck slid along a guardrail until the rail broke. It was then that the truck toppled over the sheer embankment, Teel said. The truck was southbound on Highway 89 when it crossed over into the northbound lane and hit the guardrail and slid, Teel said.

Police shut down Highway 89 in both directions and used it as a landing site for the helicopter and as a staging area for rescue workers.

Traffic backed up on both sides of Highway 89 with a heavy two-mile-long backup on the northbound lane.

Police released no other details as of press time.