Crash Mighty, But Injuries Minor


A 30,000-pound APS truck spun backwards, bounced off an oncoming car and rolled onto its side on Highway 87 north of Payson Tuesday afternoon -- and no one was seriously injured.

Officer Dennis Buller of the Arizona Department of Public Safety said APS bucket-truck driver John Cota, 57, was headed north on the highway at 12:50 p.m., about a mile north of the bridge over the East Verde, when the truck's tires slipped off the shoulder of the highway.

Buller said Cota apparently overcorrected, his truck spun around and then glanced off a small Plymouth sedan coming from the other direction. The truck ended up on its side off the east side of the roadway, facing the wrong direction.

Cota and the driver of the Plymouth, Elizabeth Sylvester, 74, of Mesa, were transported to Payson Regional Medical Center by ambulance. They were treated and released.

Sylvester's husband, Leo, 73, was not injured, Buller said. He said Elizabeth Sylvester had brought the car almost to a stop before the truck clipped its left front fender.

Traffic on the highway was reduced to a single lane for about four hours as a crane and tow truck were used to upright the APS truck.

Buller said at the scene that no citations had been issued and that the accident was still under investigation.

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