Two Die In Star Valley Accident

Highway 260 closed for nearly five hours

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Two accidents resulted in two fatalities and three people being sent to Valley hospitals with serious injuries.

Hope Williams and Charles Andrew Walters, both 18, were killed when their eastbound small car collided with an westbound truck driven by 27-year-old Luke Sadowski at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday on Highway 260 near the Gila County Maintenance Yard east of Star Valley, Payson Police Sgt. John Heflin said.

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A two-car rollover accident Saturday on Highway 87 sent two Payson residents to Valley hospitals.

A friend of the Walters family said Hope Williams and Charles Andrew Walters were college students from the Tempe area, but hometowns were not provided. The Walters family has a cabin in the Rim Country.

Heflin said Sadowski is not from the Payson area, and did not have an address for him.

"We're still unsure of who the driver of the small car was, but it appears that it ran slightly off the road and overcorrected and ended up colliding with Mr. Sadowski, who was in the eastbound lane of Highway 260 coming into Star Valley," he said.

Williams and Walters were pronounced dead at the scene, Heflin said. He said Sadowski was flown to a Valley area hospital with serious, but non life-threatening injuries.

Traffic from the accident was delayed for several hours and motorists had to either wait for the highway to be opened or take a detour to get to Payson or Phoenix, Heflin said. The highway was closed for more than four hours, he said.

"We finally opened up the highway about 9 or 9:30 p.m.," Heflin said.

No citations have been issued and Payson Police is still conducting an investigation of the accident, Heflin said.

Rollover sends two Payson residents to Valley hospitals

A two-vehicle rollover accident Saturday afternoon resulted in two people being air-evaced to Phoenix, Heflin said.

Police responded to an accident Saturday on Highway 87 near Malibu Drive at 12:15 p.m involving an older SUV driven by 81-year-old Edward Rakosnik of Payson and a 1981 Jeep driven by Earl Cline, 37, also from Payson, Heflin said.

He said Payson resident Steven Bomar, 32, was a passenger in Cline's Jeep.

Heflin said Rakosnik was southbound on Highway 87 when he turned in front of Cline, who was northbound, resulting in a collision, causing Cline's Jeep to roll over on its side.

"It looks like he (Rakosnik) was turning left into the northernmost entrance by Class Cleaners in the Payson Village Shopping Center from Highway 87 when he was hit by Cline," Heflin said.

He said Cline and Bomar suffered nonlife-threatening, but serious injuries, and were flown to an unknown Phoenix area hospital.

Rakosnik suffered no injuries in the accident and was released at the scene, Heflin said.

He said one of the northbound lanes of Highway 87 had to be temporarily closed, but it was reopened at about 1 p.m.

Heflin said Payson Police is still conducting its investigation of the accident and that no citations have been issued.

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