Reckless driving leads to three-vehicle collision

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Graham County Sheriff's deputies close down 1st Avenue to allow Nutcracker Towing to remove vehicles damaged in a three-vehicle collision, Saturday.

By Jon Johnson

Safford Fire performs extraction – Four head to hospital for treatment

SAFFORD – Speed and impatient, improper driving led to a collision with injuries involving three vehicles Saturday afternoon.

Officers were dispatched to the 2400 block of 1st. Avenue at about 3:53 p.m. regarding the collision.

According to witness statements, a silver Chevrolet sedan driven by Sabrina Sanchez was southbound on 1st Avenue at a high-rate of speed when she came upon a truck that was turning into a driveway. Sanchez allegedly was going too fast to brake for the truck, so instead, she swerved into another lane and ended up losing control and entering the lane of oncoming traffic.

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: A police officer directs traffic from Discovery Park Boulevard southbound onto 1st Avenue/U.S. Highway 191 due to a three-vehicle collision just to the north.

A silver Ford Mustang, driven by Mary McKinnon, was northbound and attempted to swerve to avoid the Chevy but was not successful. The two cars collided, sending shrapnel throughout the roadway. McKinnon later had to be extricated by the Safford Fire Department due to the extensive front-end damage to her car. A blue Chevrolet pickup truck was also struck in the front driver’s side, but its operator was not injured.

McKinnon and her passengers, Sara Chartrand, and a juvenile male, were all transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center by paramedics with Lifeline Ambulance for treatment. McKinnon and the juvenile had visible head injuries, according to a police report. Sanchez was also transported to the hospital for treatment.

The roadway was closed until Nutcracker Towing removed them from the scene.    

Sanchez allegedly told an officer that she was on her way to work at a prison south of Safford at the time of the collision and could not recall what happened.

Sanchez was later found at fault and given a citation for failure to control her speed to avoid a collision.