Three-Truck Pile-Up Free Of Injuries

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Payson Police Officer Henry Thomason prepared himself for the worst as he approached the three-truck wreck near the intersection of BIA 101 and the Beeline Highway.

"I thought it was going to be a fatal," he said.

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Terry Chapman, 67, of Goodyear, is given an EKG after he rear-ended a flatbed trailer filled with granite countertops.

Much to Thomason's surprise, none of the three drivers, or the one passenger, involved in the pile-up were seriously injured.

"It's amazing no one was hurt," Thomason said.

Payson Fire Department emergency personnel had to administer an EKG to 67-year-old Terry Chapman, the driver of a Toyota truck involved in the accident, but police said he was OK.

The chain reaction accident, which occurred midday Nov. 23, began when Chapman, of Goodyear, apparently took his attention off the road and plowed into the rear of a flatbed trailer being pulled by a truck belonging to Valley-based Northern Marble and Granite.

The force of the impact launched Chapman's truck partially up onto the trailer. It also sent granite countertops, which were being hauled on the trailer, through the cab of the track.

The driver of the Northern Marble and Granite truck, Gerrardo Gonzalez, and the passenger, Jose Martinez, both escaped injury.

"The granite was shattered into about 1-inch-by-1-inch pieces and flew through the back cab window," Thomason said. "I don't know how those two were not injured."

The impact of Chapman's truck also sent the Northern Marble truck into the rear of an 18-wheeler stopped at the traffic light on Beeline west of the Mazatzal Casino.

At the scene two witnesses, trailing the Toyota, told Payson Police Officer Dave Vaughn they were not sure they ever saw Chapman's break lights come on.

Thomason said Chapman told him he was slowing for the stoplight and looked off to the side when the collision occurred.

When the accident was first broadcast over police radios after a 911 call, it was reported the 18-wheeler was on fire.

That information, however, was incorrect.

Chapman was cited for failure to control speed to avoid a collision.

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