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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news May 29, 2016


1/7/2011 11:55:00 AM
Serious accident shuts down highway in Cottonwood
Officials still investigating cause
Fire crews from two departments and police from four agencies converged on the wreck about 5:30 p.m. Three helicopters used the highway to load patients for trauma hospitals in Flagstaff and Phoenix. Photos by Verde Valley Fire Dist. and Jon Hutchinson
Fire crews from two departments and police from four agencies converged on the wreck about 5:30 p.m. Three helicopters used the highway to load patients for trauma hospitals in Flagstaff and Phoenix. Photos by Verde Valley Fire Dist. and Jon Hutchinson
+ view more photos

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD - Traffic on State Route 260 through the Verde Villages was blocked for several hours Wednesday night while emergency crews worked to clear a four-vehicle accident, just north of Del Rio Drive. By all accounts, it is remarkable that no one was killed in the collision.

Fire crews from two departments and police from four agencies converged on the wreck about 5:30 p.m.

Three helicopters used the highway to load patients for trauma hospitals in Flagstaff and Phoenix.

The first units were dispatched to an "injury accident involving three vehicles," but Capt. Joel Rosenberg of Verde Valley Fire found four vehicles with major damage, one on its side. The drivers of the three vehicles - a white van, a Honda SUV and a Ford pickup - had serious injuries.

Two occupants were trapped in their wreckage and needed to be extracted. The extraction from the SUV took 45 minutes.

Helicopters were called-in due to the severity and level of injuries within the first hour. Verde Valley Ambulance also assisted with patients. DPS, Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, and the Clarkdale and Cottonwood police departments were all on hand assisting with traffic and investigation of the scene.

Two patients, Dennis Lingle and Carol Birka, were transported to Flagstaff Medical Center and were reported to be in critical condition. The third driver, Cheryl Miskiel was flown to John C. Lincoln in Phoenix for treatment and later released. The fourth vehicle with two occupants sustained minor damage, but no injuries.

Emergency responders say it was unclear how the accident occurred.

Crews remained on scene to assist DPS with traffic control and lighting until the road was re-opened at 9:30, four hours after the accident.

Meanwhile, shortly after 6 p.m., a second Verde Village accident was reported at Western and SR 260, so crews from Cottonwood Fire and Verde Valley Ambulance were diverted to that scene, where two more patients were taken to the hospital.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 10, 2011
Article comment by: Gemma McKean

Kudos to our police force. I was also stuck in this traffic jam and needed to deliver medication to my Mother off of Godard Rd. When the police found out this was my goal they came and escorted me to my mom's home so she could have her prescriptions. Thank you Cottonwood pd.

Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011
Article comment by: Paula Kline

I had a friend that was there at the accident 2 cars behind. She had told me what had happened and I feel strongly that there should be some kind of median in between the roadway that may help future accidents and may help to keep people on there side of the road

Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011
Article comment by: It should be noted that many of the more destructed...

Images are after the vehicles had been opened up for extrication. So that damage was not actually accident related.

But I agree that most folks there are moving along at about 55-60mph+ ...just too fast.


Posted: Friday, January 7, 2011
Article comment by: David Treadwell

Looking at the severity of the wreckage one would think this happened at Interstate Hiway speeds. But then again, few people drive the 45 MPH speed limit in that area of 260.

Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2011
Article comment by: teree colaianni

I wanted to thank the police and everyone that was on that scene, they all did a great job getting the traffic to move, i was stuck in it from 6-9:15.
the idiots who rtavel down the emergency lane when the traffic is stopped so they can get to where they are going faster deserve a ticket.its drivers like u that cause chaos and accidnets. you see us all waiting what gives you people the right to cut in front?
i saw a blue truck flying down the middle lane.
i live on del rio, i was 5 minutes from home and i waited just like everyone else.




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