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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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6/28/2011 12:27:00 PM
Fatal commercial vehicle crash
Photo courtesy CVFDA Penske rental truck was involved in a fatal collision on southbound I-17 Monday morning, blocking traffic for several hours.
Photo courtesy CVFD

A Penske rental truck was involved in a fatal collision on southbound I-17 Monday morning, blocking traffic for several hours.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


INTERSTATE-17 -- Two 18-wheel tractor-trailer trucks smashed together in a rear-end accident while both were traveling south just past the runaway truck ramp.

The Department of Public Safety investigating officer says it appears that an 18-wheel commercial vehicle was pulling onto the highway from a pull out and the driver of the Penske moving truck did not see the big rig in time to react. The Penske truck with two men from California rear-ended the 18-wheeler.

Camp Verde Fire Spokeswoman Barbara Rice said the trailing truck suffered very heavy damage. A passenger in the Penske rental truck, Kirk Lawrence, 25 of Woodland Hills, Calif. was thrown from the cab and died at the scene.

The driver of the same truck, 26-year old Michael Lake of Chatsworth, Calif., needed to be extracted from the cab and was flown by medical helicopter to the Flagstaff Medical Center trauma center.

The driver of the lead vehicle, 50-year old Harold Burns of Flagstaff, was not hurt.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Article comment by: P. Hernandez

Tom, Tom, Tom, That's like blaming a train engineer, for hitting a car crossing the RR tracks. Obvious physics wasn't your strong point Tom. What I get from the article is that the 18 wheeler had just entered the highway from the safety pull out, so it was going slow, because of physics Tom. The moving truck driver apparently didnít notice the speed of the 18 wheeler in front of him, and therefore plowed into it. End of story. By the way, may God mend all the families caught up in this matter.

Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Article comment by: kevin gautreau

What are you talking about it takes such long time to get the truck to get the speed you need on the highway.Because your hauling 20,000 pounds from your load plus the weight of your tractor and trailer .Same with stopping you can tell tom doesn't know anything trucks

Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Article comment by: Yvonne Dolon

And how many times have you had idiot 4 wheel drivers cut off truckers? Do you really think that a truck can travel as fast as a car with all the weight that they are hauling? DPS is already out to get the trucker for every violation that they can think of. If you had the curteousy to share the road there wouldn't be any problems. Yes this was a terrible accident. But we do not have all the facts on it. I bet that there is a 4 wheel vehicle involved, that got away.

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Article comment by: Tom Richards

How many times have you had idiot truckers pull into your lane going much slower than the rest of the traffic, particularly on I-17 northbound at 7-Mile Hill and southbound leaving Verde Valley? DPS needs to crack down much harder on dangerous driving and lane violations by truckers.



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