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Tue, Oct. 27

4 people die in head-on collision on Highway 169 in Dewey
3 others flown to Phoenix hospital in critical condition

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from a previous version.

A head-on collision between two vehicles on Highway 169 in Dewey has left four people dead, and three others in critical condition were flown to Phoenix-area hospitals via helicopter, according to a Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority Facebook post Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s accident comes just four days after another head-on collision claimed the life of another driver on the same roadway.

At 8:19 a.m. Sunday, May 31, an Acura sedan collided with a Ford 1-ton pickup on the two-lane highway, killing all four people in the Acura at the scene.

Those fatalities included the driver, who was a 16-year-old boy; the front passenger, 35-year-old Amanda Colvin of Prescott Valley; and two young boys, ages 5 and 7, who were riding in the back.

Department of Public Safety Media Relations Specialist Bart Graves stated via email that the Ford’s driver has non-life-threatening injuries, although his three passengers have “very serious injuries.”

“Everyone is still in the hospital,” Graves added on Monday.

This collision followed a fatal accident that DPS said had occurred at 3:51 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, also on Highway 169 near Dewey.

In that crash, a Jeep Wrangler was traveling southbound on 169 when a vehicle crossed the center line and sideswiped a pickup before colliding head-on with another pickup. Both pickups had been going northbound.

The driver of the Jeep, a 64-year-old woman, died at the scene. The driver of the first pickup suffered minor injuries.

On May 31, DPS reported, the Acura was traveling southbound on 169 when, for an unknown reason, it veered left of center and crashed into the Ford in the northbound lane.

“There were no indicators of impairment [to the driver],” Graves stated.

CAFMA crews say that they responded to the crash at about 9 a.m. May 31. Four fire engines, four ambulances, and three helicopters were at the scene, keeping Highway 169 closed to traffic for several hours.

A witness to the crash, Cliff Schans, emailed the Courier on Sunday night to describe what he and his wife saw earlier in the day from their vehicle. Schans stated that he was driving in front of the Ford when he saw the crash in his rear-view mirror. He managed to avoid the Acura, which had already crossed the center line.

“I saw he wasn’t going back into his lane, so I swerved onto the shoulder of the road and the car [Acura] missed hitting my Jeep by about a foot,” Schans stated.

Schans added that the collision occurred shortly after he had returned to the roadway.

“The impact was so great that the car’s rear end was vertical before coming back down,” he stated. “Pieces of vehicles were flying everywhere.”

Doug Cook is a reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @dougout_dc. Email him at dcook@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2039.

Courier News/Sports Editor Brian M. Bergner Jr. contributed to this report.

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