Two Die In Fossil Creek Car Crash

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Two people were killed yesterday when their car plunged 150 feet down a ravine off Fossil Creek Road west of Strawberry.

Matthew William Hughey, 24, of Pine and Rebekah Lynn Hodges, 17, Payson, were found in the car by a sheriff's deputy on forest patrol.

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Rebekah Lynn Hodges

"One of our sergeants who was up here from Globe doing a severity patrol noticed skid marks on the road," Gila County Sheriff's Det. George Ratliff said. "That's how they found the car."

Ratliff said the accident occurred on Forest Service Road 708, also known as Fossil Creek road, six miles west of Strawberry.

Sheriff's deputies, the Pine-Strawberry Fire Department and members of the Tonto Rim Search and Rescue squad worked to recover the vehicle and the bodies of the two passengers.

According to Ratliff, the crash occurred sometime earlier in the day, but they are still trying to determine when. He also said the two appear to have died instantly, upon impact.

"The accident is still under investigation," Ratliff said. "But I would venture to say that excessive speed was a factor -- especially for those conditions. Forest service roads get quite bumpy. We are still trying to piece it all together."

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