Rollover Blocks Traffic On Beeline

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Two people were injured when their 1992 Lincoln Continental spun out of control and flipped on its top into the path of a Winnebago Monday at "infamous Corvair Curve" on the Beeline Highway.

The incident occurred at 9:15 a.m. and backed up both lanes of southbound traffic for about an hour and a half.

Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Vern Havens said the driver, Jose Hernandez, 71, and his wife, Maria, 62, of Tolleson, were taken to Payson Regional Medical Center.

Maria Hernandez was pinned in the overturned car and had to be extricated by Payson Firefighters using the Jaws of Life. She was admitted to Payson Regional Medical Center with a punctured lung and two broken ribs. Her husband was treated and released.

Havens said the accident occurred when Hernandez attempted to pass the Winnebago motor home, which was pulling a small car.

"He went left of center, touched the guard rail and rotated clockwise, spinning out of control to where he hit the embankment," Havens said.

The vehicle then rolled on its roof and was hit by the motor home driven by Ernest Hamblin 72, of Cortez, Colo. Hamblin was not injured. The motor home was slightly damaged and had to be towed away.

Jose Hernandez was cited for driving at a speed greater than prudent to avoid the collision.

DPS Sgt. John Whetten said the area, milepost 246.2 on the Beeline Highway, is "infamous" for the number of wrecks that have occurred there.

"There are so many marks on that guard rail, we can't tell which wreck is which," he said.

Whetten said the Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at the area to straighten it out in the future.

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