A head-on collision involving a car traveling on the wrong side of Highway 87 stopped southbound traffic for more than two hours Tuesday evening while officers and paramedics removed patients and vehicles from the Slate Creek area.
Just a few minutes past 7 p.m., 69-year-old Anne Prichard of Mesa got on the wrong side of the cement barrier and was driving north in the southbound lanes, said Department of Public Safety Sgt. John Whetten. Her 1978 Toyota sedan crashed head-on into a 1991 Buick driven by Fred W. Wendall III of Phoenix, just north of milepost 226 on Highway 87, the sergeant said.
Prichard was dead at the scene and 54-year-old Wendall was sent by air to John C. Lincoln hospital in Phoenix. Wendall's injuries include a broken left leg, broken ribs, a broken left arm, broken clavicle and internal bleeding, Whetten said.
There were no passengers in either car.
DPS officers closed the southbound lanes for two hours, directing traffic through the Roosevelt turnoff.
Sheriff's deputies from both Maricopa County and Gila County, DPS officers, Payson Fire Department paramedics and Arizona Department of Transportation employees all worked together to clear the scene and reopen the highway.