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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news October 6, 2015

8/27/2011 2:32:00 PM
Camp Verde family of seven in I-17 rollover; one killed

Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter

Correction: This is a corrected version of a story that originally appeared on Aug. 27.

CAMP VERDE - Six members of a Camp Verde family were injured and a boy died in a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 17 around 4 p.m. on Friday.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the vehicle, a red 1998 Mercury van driven by Clint Chapman, age 25, was northbound, just south of the State Route 179 interchange when it had a tire failure.

The vehicle left the roadway on the right side, rolling numerous times down an embankment and ejecting all but one of the occupants.

Dead at the scene was 7-year-old Nicholas Chapman.

Three-year-old Emma Chapman was flown to Phoenix Children's Hospital. Her condition is unknown.

Samantha Chapman, mother of the two girls in the vehicle, was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center, where she was admitted along with her infant daughter Aniya.

Blake Chapman, 9 years old, and his twin bother Isaiah were uninjured. Clint Chapman was treated and released at FMC.

Nicholas, Blake and Isaiah are the sons of Martha Dunegan of Camp Verde.

None of the occupants was wearing a seatbelt, according to the report.

According to Montezuma Rimrock Fire Department spokesman Tim White, several passersby stopped to give assistance.

"Everybody stopping wanted to do something but weren't quite sure what to do. As I understand it, it was a fairly chaotic scene for the first few minutes. They were helpful and left the scene to our crews as soon as we arrived," White said.

White did, however, note that some of those who stopped were able to lift the van and free Samantha Chapman, who was found trapped beneath.

"We don't encourage that. That's something they chose to do, and it may have helped her have a better outcome," White said. "This is one of those occasions when it is a good idea to remind people to wear those darn seatbelts."

The accident tied up traffic on I-17 for several hours while crews from MRFD, Sedona Fire District, Verde Valley Fire District, DPS and three helicopters worked the scene.

Taylor Waste
Related Stories:
• Nicholas Alan Chapman 2004 - 2011

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011
Article comment by: M Helm

KUDOS to Jim King.
I am SO SORRY for the loss of Nicholas-
I have lost a child.
I know the HORROR of that.

Posted: Saturday, September 3, 2011
Article comment by: Lionel McCray

It's very sad that this little boy lost his life. Just horrible. If the parents did not require their kids to be buckled in, they were negligent and played a big part in the tragedy. That's just a fact.

Had a another persons negligence caused the death of that child, the community would be calling for that person's head. The fact that they were the parents only makes it more infuriating if they in fact were ignorant enough to not buckle up their kids.

Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011
Article comment by: Jim King

To point out that "Possibly" the seatbelts were not is use, and therefore the driver failed to protect his children is stating the obvious. To hammer the parents about it only adding insult to injury. DO YOU THINK FOR A MINUTE THAT THEY ARE OBLIVIOUS TO YOUR COMMENTS ? This family has suffered a tremendous loss. Now is the time to rally around and protect them while they grieve their loss. Pray for them and ask GOD to help them through this time. And please, no more stating the obvious.. We already know.

Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Article comment by: Cassandra adams

This is all a accident and i know marci and clint and samatha and the babies and for this lost to happen it was nobody fault.we love you nick and we wish this has never happened to nobody.raymond and i are so sadden for what has happen his nick we love you all clint marci smatha and the babies we love all of you and our prayers are with you all we love all of you.

Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Article comment by: Julie Stuart

My heart and prayers go out to this family. It was an accident ! The judgemental comments being made , without the facts , is a crime.
This is a very difficult time for all the families involved. It will never be easy. Again , my heart and prayers go out to The Chapmans, Dunegan's, Adams, and Syke's. Rest in peace, Nick.

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Article comment by: Susan In the village of OakCreek

My name is Susan and I was among the first few people at the accident. I was blessed to hold and comfort the 3 year old until the medical help arrived. She said her name was Aniya but the reports here said the 3 year was Emma. Intial reports said it was a Motorcycle and a car and did not list the Baby. That was inaccurate. Since I was a witness I must emphasize how chaotic the scene was. When the help arrived they worked quickly with a huge job on their hands to confirm who was who and what needed to be done for the best outcome.They did a great job
I can only imagine how much sadness this family is suffering at this time. I have had them in my thoughts all weekend, That hour I spent with those children effected me greatly, so we should all send them our Love and prayers

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Article comment by: Lori Matthews

I send this comment with a heavy heart not quite understanding the use of people sharp tongues. Bad things happen to good people all the time. My children go to school with the boys and I had the pleasure of meeting the rest of the family a week ago at our sons birthday party. I need to say to all the parents you all should be proud...what amazing respectful children you have. Nick will be greatly missed by our entire community. Instead of stating your opinions as if you had any idea what these parents have gone thru or will be going thru contribute and be a part of this community. Do what you can do to make a difference, offer to help, donate funds for this cause, and pray, pray for them pray for yourself for judging. Again bad things happened to good people all the time and if you think you are immune you are sadly wrong.

Posted: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Article comment by: my prayers are with you all

I am so very sorry to hear the tragic that has happened. My prayers go out to the family and friends of these innocent lives that were lost.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: Kari Plo-sister of Samantha

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you bless and do not curse them. Those of you who believe you have the right to pass judgement should be ashamed! Judge not that ye be NOT judged for the Lord our God will judge each and every one of you on your day of reconning! There is a father who found his son and had him die in his arms and could've lost his entire family...I wouldn't wish this on my own worst enemy! Small towns are all the same with their gossiping tongues...OVER AN ACCIDENT...A FLAT TIRE...THIS IS WHY WE CALL IT AN ACCIDENT for those of you who have nothing better to do with their lives! SHAME ON YOU!!!

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: Becky **

I was very sad when I read this article. There was a child that died in this accident. The poor parents have to live with this for ever. But what disturbs me the most, are the comments that are published. Is everyone who is quick to judge perfect? I don't think so!! Please leave positive comments for this family, instead of how negative they were. We do not always have the luxuries of a van to hold all our children, and sometimes we have to make do with what we have. Say a prayer for this family, make a donation or something. Don't be so hurtful with words, these are human beings. Sometimes we don't think before we make decisions, but it happens. I don't even know this family, and I feel so terrible. Let's be a positive community and help out instead of pointing fingers and blaming.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: Vicki Bateman

This is a very tragic accident that happened. Now is not the time to place blame, hurl accusations, or make demands. There are parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends that are hurting so much. Instead, as a community, why not come together and help these families thru this terrible time. The parents and /or step parents will have to deal with their feelings for the rest of their lives with 'what if .' My condolences to all of the families and may you remember the great times you had with your little boy.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: So Sorry For ALL involved

I would like to say that I am so sorry for ALL involved. This is not the time to criticize and judge re: seatbelts. Will I think about this when I get into my car and one of my kids doesn't want to buckle up? Absolutely! But accidents happen and there is NO parent that would want for this to happen. These people do not need our judgement right now...they have to live with this forever. We need to love, support and pray for them all. . As for Nick, he was one of God's children and so accordingly, he is in a better place then those left behind. I hope people will stop and think before saying such horrible things on here and making the situation much worst for those involved.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: Kimberly Campbell

My husband and I were one of the first at the scene. and helped in this situation my deepest sympathy goes out to all family members. I would like to know of funeral arrangements for Nicholas RIP little man, and the status of everyone's well being.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: L G

Justina says:
"There never should have been that many children in the car in the first place"...
Really? How exactly do you transport them then? I have that many children, should I leave some at home when I go out of the house? That is what vans are for, to transport more people. Seatbelts, yes this shuld be a given, but too many kids, well in my opinion, you are judging something you have no business with.

Posted: Monday, August 29, 2011
Article comment by: Mother of Samantha Sykes

I am the mother of Samantha Chapman and I will not allow things to be said about my family because of the way this article was written. It is only assumed that not everyone was wearing a seat belt. That vehicle rolled 15 to 16 times down an embankment. Please, please do not start pointing fingers until you actually know the facts. I understand everyone has an opinion and people like to think that nothing like this would ever happen to them. Think again. Accidents do happen, kids do take their seat belts off while a car is moving. My family sustained a tragic loss as well. Words hurt too. And just having to read this -- well my heart breaks for not only those involved in this tragedy but also for the small minded individuals who obviously believe they are better than everyone else.

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