Young girls in critical condition after ATV wreck

Father being investigated for DUI

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – Two young girls were clinging to life at a Tucson hospital Tuesday after being thrown from an ATV their father was driving, possibly while drunk, Sunday night.

Ludwyka Sierra, 9, and Ximena Sierra, 8, were both listed in critical condition at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson. The girls were flown to UMC after initially being examined at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC).

Officers and medical personnel were dispatched to an area along U.S. Highway 70 between Glenbar Gin and the former Cluff Dairy at about 7:33 p.m. regarding an ATV incident. Medical and fire personnel were then canceled after a deputy learned that the injured parties had been driven to MGRMC by their father, Artemio Sierra, 33, of Pima.

The two girls were first treated at MGRMC before being flown to UMC in Tucson.

According to Emergency Room staff, when both girls were brought into the ER by Artemio, they were limp and unconscious. When Ximena arrived, she didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing. ER staff reported they managed to re-start Ximena’s heart prior to her being airlifted to Tucson, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.

Ludwyka was still at the ER when the deputy arrived. He reported she had large abrasions to her left leg and both knees as well as abrasions to her face and head. She was shortly thereafter flown out to UMC as well. In a news release Wednesday morning, the Sheriff’s Office reported Ludwyka appeared to be responding to treatment. 

Artemio allegedly told a deputy that the girls had asked to go for a ride so he took them out on his ATV, which he believed was a Honda 400. He said it was getting dark and seemed like it was going to rain when he suddenly he hit a small berm at about 40 mph, knocking his daughters off and onto the ground. They were not wearing helmets.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Valley Central: At least one of the girls was transported to UMC in this LifeNet helicopter.

Artemio said he found both his girls unconscious on the ground and bleeding. After he managed to get the ATV to start, he drove toward his residence but the ATV died again. He then left his daughters and ran home to retrieve his father’s vehicle, which he then used to transport his daughters to the hospital.

While speaking with Artemio, the officer noted he showed signs of intoxication. When asked, Artemio allegedly admitted to drinking too many beers throughout the day to count.

Artemio failed a brief sobriety field test and his blood was taken for testing purposes. He was then released to his brother.

Other deputies located the site of the crash behind a pump storage building in the 9000 block of U.S. Highway 70 roughly 200 yards north of the highway. Deputies noted seeing ATV tracks leading from a flat roadway into a small berm and ditch and multiple spots with blood on the ground.