By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – The dirt part of Cluff Ranch Road is the same going out to Cluff Ponds as it is coming back from the popular recreating spot yet most crashes happen after leaving the area. The difference can likely be summed up in just one word: alcohol.
Adan Martinez, 19, of Pima, suffered a shoulder injury when he flipped his truck after leaving Cluff Ponds #3 early Saturday morning. And to add insult to injury, literally, he was later arrested at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for DUI and was also given a citation for failure to control his vehicle to avoid a collision.
A deputy responded to Cluff Ranch Road just west of Cluff Ponds #3 at about 1:05 a.m. on Saturday regarding a motor vehicle crash with injuries. According to a Sheriff’s Office report, the deputy was at a different traffic stop when two men informed him of the crash and said they saw someone throwing beer cans from the crashed truck out into the desert. While speaking to the men, Graham County Dispatch also alerted other units to the crash scene.
The deputy came upon a large group of bystanders near a crashed black, 1976 Chevrolet pickup truck, who were at the pond when Martinez crashed. The group said Martinez had yelled for help and that they responded and helped tip his crashed truck back onto its wheels. While Martinez was being loaded onto a Lifeline Ambulance, a deputy discovered multiple open and spilled cold beer cans strewn about the desert near the crash scene.
While being treated for his injured shoulder and collar bone at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, Martinez allegedly admitted to drinking “three or four” beers at the pond before attempting to drive. He said as he was heading out of the pond area the throttle on his truck got stuck and he lost control. He also advised that he was not wearing his seat belt and allegedly remained in the vehicle as the bystanders flipped it from laying on its driver’s side back onto its tires. The truck was later towed from the scene by Nuttall’s Towing.
After providing a blood sample at the hospital, Martinez was released from police custody. Charges from the Graham County Attorney’s Office are pending test results of Martinez’s blood.