Tragic Accident Claims Two

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Two Pine residents died tragically as a result of a five-car accident Thursday afternoon on Highway 87.

Joan Williams died at the scene, and her husband, M.G. Williams Jr., was seriously injured and later died at the hospital.

Strawberry resident John Wallen was also seriously injured and flown to Scottsdale-Osborn Hospital.

T. Harold, investigating officer for DPS, said the accident occurred Thursday at approximately 4:12 p.m at milepost 227.6, about 13 miles south of Rye.

Wallen was driving a late model white Trailblazer and towing a small travel trailer when the trailer came loose from its ball, Harold said. The trailer ended up in the traffic lanes.

Wallen stopped to try and remove his trailer from the traffic lanes when the Williamses, driving a white four-door Subaru, James Sanders of Gisela, driving a white 1999 Chevy pickup and also pulling a trailer, and William Park, driving an unmarked gray Pontiac law enforcement car, stopped to offer assistance to Wallen.

It was originally reported to the Roundup by a DPS spokesperson that the Williamses were towing the trailer.

Park had turned on his emergency flashers to slow traffic and was also trying to get the travel trailer out of the traffic lanes.

Wallen and all of the others who had stopped to offer help, had pulled off to the right of the roadway and were not in traffic lanes, Harold said.

"At some point around 4 p.m., Debra Calkins of Mesa, driving a blue Chevy pickup, and towing a flatbed trailer loaded with all-terrain vehicles, struck the unmarked law enforcement car, "the blue Chevy, then sideswiped the Sanders truck and trailer, and went on to hit the travel trailer, which then struck the Williamses and Wallen," Harold said.

Wallen is still hospitalized at this time at Scottsdale-Osborn Hospital and is expected to recover, Officer Harold said on Monday.

Harold said the DPS investigation is ongoing and that no charges have been filed at this time.

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