One Dies, Three Injured In Beeline Rollover


One person was killed and two others injured in a crash that involved four vehicles around 8 p.m., Sunday night, on the southbound lanes of Highway 87 near Sunflower.

According to Department of Public Safety Officer Steve Volden, witnesses said the driver of a red Geo Tracker was swerving and lost control of the vehicle. The Geo flipped over onto the side of the highway.

"The driver of the red Geo lost control, ejecting two passengers," Volden said. "The grey Chevy then hit one of the passengers that was ejected. Another vehicle hit the Geo, and vehicle number four hit the debris.

The driver of the Geo, Medesto Hernandez, 28, had minor injuries and was transported to Maricopa County Hospital, Volen said.

"The second passenger, Octavio Garcia, 30, had numerous skull fractures and was flown to Scottsdale Osborne Healthcare."

The name of the 34 year-old passenger in the Geo that was killed has not been released because next of kin have not been notified.

Volden said the three men in the Geo were most likely from Mexico.

No one in the other vehicles was injured, said Volden.

Witnesses reported that before the crash, three passengers in the Geo were swinging their arms out the windows, Volden said.

The investigation confirmed that alcohol played a part in the accident. "They definitely suspect alcohol was involved," Volden said.

Several local agencies, including the Payson Fire Department, Gila County Sheriff's Office, Diamond-Star Fire Department and volunteer fire departments were called in for support. Calls were later canceled when injuries were less than expected.

Volden said a representative from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office performed the investigation at the scene.

Highway 87 was closed to all southbound traffic until 11 p.m.

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