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Thu, Dec. 05

UPDATE: Mayer man dies in head-on car crash

UPDATE: Friday, 11:45 a.m.:

Raymond Cook, 61, of Mayer, sustained fatal injuries in Thursday night's two-car collision about six miles north of Mayer, the Department of Public Safety confirmed Friday morning.

The collision's first reports came in around 6 p.m. on Thursday on State Route 69 near mile post 276.

According to DPS, Cook was driving his 1998 Dodge Durango northbound in the southbound lanes and collided head-on with a 2000 Chevrolet pickup driven by Walter Neitzel, 50, of Phoenix, who was admitted to a Phoenix-area hospital.

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

The collision resulted in northbound lanes being closed for about three hours and southbound lanes were closed for about four and a half hours. The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation.

Impairment does not appear to be a factor at this time.

UPDATE, Thursday, 9:20 p.m.:

The Department of Public Safety confirmed one fatality Thursday evening in a multiple-car collision near mile post 276 between Dewey-Humboldt and Mayer.

DPS first reported that southbound traffic on State Route 69 was being rerouted onto State Route 169 toward I-17 at 7:14 p.m. Thursday night.

Officials reported at least three collisions but details on the cause or exact number of injuries remains unclear. "It was a chaotic scene," said a dispatcher in DPS's Flagstaff center.

Authorities are not releasing any information about the victim. Two other people reportedly were air evaced from the scene, though the extent of their injuries also is unknown.

Southbound 69 will be closed until at least midnight as the investigation continues, DPS reported.

INITIAL REPORT:

At 7:14 p.m., the Department of Public Safety reported that State Route 69 is closed at mile post 277.5 in Humboldt due to a serious injury collision.

Southbound traffic on SR69 is being rerouted onto State Route 169 toward I-17. Northbound traffic on 69 is stopped at this time. It may be open by Thursday evening to clear traffic in the immediate area of the collision scene, according to DPS.

Travelers needing to head north on SR69 are urged to take I-17 north to the SR169 exit and back over to SR69 to go north.

The closure is expected to be in effect at least four hours.

Check back to dCourier.com for details on this developing story.

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