On September 13, 2020 at approximately 3:49 AM the Graham County Communication Center received a call of a vehicle fire on Sanchez Road, north of the bridge. Safford Fire, Safford, Thatcher and Graham County law enforcement responded to the incident. When first responders arrived at approximately 3:58 AM, a Suburban style vehicle was fully engulfed on the west side of Sanchez Road in a field. As the area was being checked and the fire being put out, a female victim, later identified as Mariana M. Sanchez, age 36 of Sanchez/Solomon area, was found on the east side of Sanchez Road across from the burning vehicle. The victim had a head injury and was deceased.
On the roadway there was evidence the Suburban had been traveling south on Sanchez Road and at one point went into a sideway slide across both lanes of traffic. The Suburban hit a dirt shoulder and traveled west across Sanchez Road. Other evidence of the continuing path of the Suburban was found and is part of the continuing investigation. Debris such as a boxed car speaker, jack, tire iron and miscellaneous items were found east of the victim in the dirt area that had been ejected from inside the vehicle. It also appears the victim had been ejected from the vehicle.
When documenting the scene it was discovered the rims to the rear tires were deeply buried in the dirt field indicating the tires had been spinning when the vehicle came to a stop in the dirt field before burning. The Department of Public Safety was asked to assist with the reconstruction based on the physical evidence located at the scene.
An autopsy of the victim is schedules for Tuesday and the investigation into this incident continues.