Thatcher teen blacks out while driving, crashes head on into light post

Contributed Photo/Courtesy TPD: This truck crashed head on into a light post off U.S. Highway 70 in Thatcher after the driver lost consciousness at the wheel.

By Jon Johnson

THATCHER – A Thatcher teen driver was taken to a Tucson hospital Tuesday night for observation after blacking out while driving. The episode caused the 16-year-old male to veer off the highway and crash head on into a town light post near Tractor Supply Company at 2411 W. U.S. Highway 70.

According to a report from Thatcher Police Chief Shaffen Woods, the teen was eastbound on U.S. Highway 70 at about 7 p.m. in a blue, 2003 GMC 1/2-ton pickup truck when he lost consciousness. The truck then drifted to the south until it collided with the light post, causing the post’s foundation to move and severe front-end damage to the truck.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy TPD: The truck suffered severe front-end damage and the light post had to be removed. The teen driver was transported to a Tucson hospital for observation and tests.

“There were no skid marks or anything,” Woods said. “A witness said she saw the truck just gradually drift off the road into the light post.”

Woods said there were no indications of any impairment and a check of the teen’s cell phone showed he was not using it to text either. Rather some sort of medial condition apparently caused the blackout.

After initially being transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, the teen was transferred by ground to Tucson Medical Center for observation and tests, according to Woods.

Traffic was routed into the center lane while Thatcher town employees removed the damaged light post. 

The truck was removed from the scene by Nutcracker Towing.