Rollover in the cemetery damages gravesites

Tire tracks lead to damaged gravesites and a burst water pipe following a rollover in Safford Cemetery on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. - Contributed Photo

SAFFORD — A stainless-steel water bottle that fell on the floor of a vehicle is believed to be the cause of a man facing multiple charges.

Safford Police were dispatched to Safford Cemetery just after midnight Sunday, Dec. 3. There they found a silver Mustang that had rolled, damaging multiple gravesites and causing a water pipe to burst.

The driver said he was traveling north on the cemetery road, when his water bottle fell onto the floor and wedged under the brake pedal. The man said when he tried to press the brake pedal, he accidentally pressed the gas, causing the vehicle to accelerate and him to lose control, causing the vehicle to roll.

Field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer both came back negative for alcohol consumption.

The man was charged with criminal damage of $10,000 or more and reckless driving, with the possibility of more charges pending review by the Graham County Attorney’s Office.

The man was cited and released, and city staff are researching ownership of the plots that were damaged.