Weekend Leaves Bad Memories For Some

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A 21-year-old motorcyclist traveling west on Highway 260 north of Strawberry suffered fatal injuries Monday afternoon, marking the only Rim country fatality in an otherwise relatively quiet weekend.

The cyclist --whose name had not been released as of press time, pending family notification -- died Monday evening at a Flagstaff hospital, where he was air-evacuated following the crash.

Around 3 p.m. Monday, the cyclist veered off Highway 260 into a small stand of oak trees, said Capt. Harris Scott of the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department.

"The bike was absolutely vertical in the tree," Scott said. "We had one ambulance, one battalion truck, and a rescue fire truck on scene because of the gas leaking."

DPS Public Information Officer Bob Stein said the accident didn't tie up traffic, because it was so far off the road. "There was some minor slowing in the area from people trying to get a look," he said.

Scott said the cyclistwas flown by the Department of Public Safety helicopter to Flagstaff.

"He suffered extensive injuries, and as of 11 p.m. last night, was in the operating room," Scott said Tuesday. "I was informed this morning that he didn't make it."

At this point, Stein said, there is no determination what caused the cyclist to leave the highway. He said the accident is still under investigation.

Horseback rider falls
Another serious injury reported over the weekend happened to a 40-year-old Cornville woman who was thrown from a horse near Whispering Pines.

"We went up there on a mutual aid call Sunday morning," said Frank Hansen, acting fire chief of the Mesa del Caballo Fire Department.

"A young lady had fallen from her horse into some rocks, about one-quarter mile in from the Washington Park trailhead."

Canyon State Ambulance was called to the scene, and evaluated the victim's injuries. She was flown by Native American helicopter to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital-Osborn, where she was admitted with a fractured neck and lacerations.

East Highway 260 rollover
A 39-year-old Payson man suffered some internal injuries but was out of the hospital Monday after his truck rolled over Sunday on East Highway 260.

Todd Schatz, a plumbing contractor, was heading west when his four-door Ford pickup left the road and went onto the shoulder of the highway at milepost 262.9 at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday

Diamond Star Fire Chief Gary Hatch said Hatch's truck crossed the highway onto the south side of the road, rolled one-and-a-half times, and landed against a fence.

Hatch said emergency personnel arrived at the scene just five minutes after they got the call from the Department of Public Safety.

Hatch said the victim, the only occupant of the vehicle, was talking to people at the scene and seemed to be doing OK when he suddenly collapsed.

Schatz was treated at the scene and taken by Canyon State Ambulance to Payson Regional Medical Center. A medical helicopter met the ambulance at PRMC and took Schatz to Scottsdale Osborn Hospital. He was released from there Monday.

Quiet in Payson
The Payson Police Department's new radar trailer not only lets motorists know how fast they're driving, but also counts vehicles.

"It counted over 10,000 vehicles coming in the south end of town in a 24-hour period Friday," said Lt. Don Engler. "The radar, though, only catches maybe one of three vehicles, so it could have been closer to 30,000 cars coming through Friday."

Despite the increase in traffic, Engler said the police department reported nothing out of the ordinary for a normal Rim country weekend.

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