Crashes Claim Three Lives Over The Weekend


Excessive speed and big trees produced twin tragedies during the holiday weekend, resulting in the deaths of two drivers.

In addition, a woman involved in an accident on Highway 87 July 2, which had already claimed one life, died over the weekend in a Valley hospital.

One man died Sunday when his truck went off Highway 260 and crashed into a tree, and a 33-year-old Phoenix man riding an all-terrain vehicle crashed into a tree on Friday and lost his life.

The man, whose name is unknown, was speeding down Flowing Springs when he apparently lost control of the quad and ran into a tree, said Sgt. George Scott with the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

He was traveling between 40 and 50 miles per hour, Scott said.

Paramedics tried to revive the man, but he died on scene. He was not wearing a helmet and had obvious signs of head trauma, Scott said.

The dirt road is a popular place for ATVs, however, only registered ATVs are allowed on the road, Scott said. This ATV was not registered.

"Quads are common on all Forest Service roads," Scott said. "And every year there is at least one death, and it is usually speed related."

The extended holiday weekend claimed a fourth victim Sunday, when a 21-year-old Tonopah man's truck went into a tree off Highway 260, east of Little Green Valley.

Klayton Peterson was driving east on Highway 260 around 12:40 a.m. in a GMC truck when he ran off the right side of the road, up a hillside and into a tree, said Sgt. John Whetten with DPS.

After hitting the tree, the truck caught fire, he said.

Witnesses tried to get Peterson out of the car, but could not. He is believed to have been dead before the truck caught fire.

"There was tremendous impact damage, Whetten said. The engine was pushed 18 inches into the truck.

Update on last week's accident

Last Wednesday's deadly accident involving two sport utility vehicles on Highway 87 on Thursday claimed a second victim.

Patricia A. Mead, 64, of Gold Canyon, died of a cranial hemorrhage after being taken to a Valley hospital, said Sgt. John Whetten with DPS.

Mead was a passenger in a gold Kia Sorento that struck an out-of-control green Ford Escape, near milepost 256, north of Payson, Wednesday, July 2.

When paramedics removed Mead from the Sorento, she was conscious and talking, Whetten said.

Witnesses say she handed her purse to paramedics and did not appear to have any serious injuries.

She was airlifted, along with two other persons from the Sorento, to John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital where doctors discovered she had a head injury.

She was then taken to St. Luke's Hospital where she died the next day, Whetten said.

It was the second death resulting from that crash.

Lisa Goff, 38, of Prescott Valley died on scene of the crash after being partially ejected from the Escape.

Goff's 16-year-old daughter was driving the Escape south on Highway 87 in a narrow section of road when she lost control of the vehicle and it went off the right side of the road and up an embankment.

The SUV then came back down into the northbound lane and was T-boned by the Sorento heading north.

Goff's husband told Whetten his 16-year-old daughter had looked down to change the CD and did not realize she was heading off the road until her mother screamed, but it was too late.

The 16-year-old, who was seriously injured after being partially ejected and trapped between the embankment and the car, came out of a coma over the weekend and is doing well, Whetten said.

Charges may be pending against the 16-year-old, he said.

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