Updated Report: Seven Phs Students In Rollover

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Seven Payson High School students were injured when a 1993 blue Toyota pickup truck rolled Wednesday afternoon in the 800 block of Colcord Road.

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Seven Payson High School students were injured when a 1996 blue Toyota pickup truck overturned Wednesday afternoon in the 800 block of Colcord Road.

A 16-year-old girl, who was ejected from the pickup truck, was flown by helicopter to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn, said Payson Fire Department Captain Dan Bramble.

Five of the seven students were transported to Payson Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and one student refused medical treatment.

Wednesday was a half-day for Payson High School students.

Payson Police Commander Don Engler said police received the call about the accident at 12:56 p.m.

He said a 16-year-old boy was driving eastbound on Forest Drive when he made an abrupt turn onto Colcord Road before losing control and overcorrecting, causing the vehicle to go off the west side of the road, striking a culvert.

The truck began to roll and ended up on its side.

One of the passengers in the cab of the truck -- a 15-year-old boy whose name will not be used because he is a minor -- said the driver of the truck took the corner late, causing the truck to go toward a ditch on the west side of Colcord Road.

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Police were called at 12:56 p.m. Wednesday after a 1996 Toyota pickup carrying seven Payson High School students rolled on Colcord Road.

The 15-year-old said the driver hit the brakes, causing the truck to fishtail. The driver's foot slipped off the brake pedal and got stuck under the pedal.

The passenger said the driver could not get his foot off the gas and hit the culvert at a high rate of speed causing the truck to roll twice.

Bramble said the driver stated that he was traveling about 15 mph, and added that when his truck begin to slip on the granite, the driver stated his foot got jammed under the brake pedal. This, he said, resulted in him hitting a ditch and flipping over since he could not apply the brakes.

Tom Aaron, who lives where the accident occurred, said he did not see the crash, but definitely heard it.

He said he is very familiar with the corner of Colcord Road and Forest Drive and has seen many speeders there.

Aaron said he believes one of the reasons for the crash is the granite that is on the street.

"Everyone slides on it," he said, adding, "People lose control of their wheels as they make the turn onto Colcord Road."

"I heard the kid accelerate on the granite, and I knew immediately that he lost it," Aaron said. "I knew when I heard the granite and the wheels spinning."

The driver of the truck, according to Aaron, hit the west side of the road -- where his grandchildren had been playing five minutes earlier -- and the four children in the bed of the truck ended up in the small ditch.

The truck, with the three kids inside the cab, continued another 25 to 50 yards before turning over on its side.

"He accelerated way too much," he said. "It was excessive speed. That was it." He added that the teenager had driven on this road before at a high rate of speed. The road is commonly used as a shortcut to get to Rumsey Park or Payson High School.

Engler said it is safe to say that speed was a factor in the accident.

"Thank God we didn't get anyone seriously injured," Aaron said.

Beyond the driver of the truck, there were four boys, two who were 15 years old and two were 16-year-old girls. Engler said the age of the two other boys is not known at this time.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

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