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Volunteer firefighter in Wilhoit killed in ATV collision after holiday party
Cause of collision under investigation

A volunteer firefighter with the Southern Yavapai Fire Department was declared dead at the scene of a vehicle collision in Wilhoit after his ATV rolled Saturday night, Dec. 15.

Peter Cannata, 61, from Wilhoit had left a holiday party for the Southern Yavapai Fire Department just before 8 p.m., according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) news release. He told friends he was heading home.

About 10 minutes later, a passerby found Cannata trapped under the ATV at the intersection of Flint Drive and Donegal Road in Wilhoit and he appeared dead, YCSO reported.

Deputies determined Cannata was travelling south on Flint Drive and entered the intersection of Donegal Road where the dirt meets pavement. Based on evidence at the scene, it appeared the Polaris 850 ATV went sideways losing traction for some unknown reason. The vehicle then rolled at least once coming to rest on top of Cannata who suffered severe head injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.

Cannata’s body was released to the medical examiner and autopsy results are pending. The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation.

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