Clipped From The Santa Fe New Mexican
SantaFe, N.M., Thurs.,May3,1979 THE NEW MEXICAN B-7 of the Arizona truck crash kills nine persons YOUNG, Ariz. (AP) — The Department of Public Safety worked today to identify the nine persons lulled when their pickup truck ran off the road and struck a tree. The driver of the truck survived. Patrolmen said the truck ran off a . mountain road early Wednesday and struck a tree with such force that it "sheered the cab off." "The driver has indicated his brakes failed," said DPS spokesman Allan Schmidt. "There is some preliminary evidence to support that." The crash was listed as one of the worst single-vehicle accidents on the Arizona highway system. The victims were employed by Reidhead Enterprises of Heber in a logging operation. The survivor, Ernesto Aviedo Delgado, 22, of Los Angeles, who was driving the truck, was taken to a hospital in Globe. He was listed in stable condition with a broken shoulder and back. Officers identified the men -as Frank Sanchez, 20, Globe; Robert Chee, 23, Sanders; Salvador Martinez, Martinez, Heber; Luis Shorty. Window S The outhivest Rock; Angel Vargas, Oginaga, Madera, Mexico; Pouis Mayartez, Agua Prieta, Sonera, Mexico; Fidel Ochoa, Mader, Chihuahua, Mexico; Cruz Rocha, California, Cuauhtumoc, Mexico; and Felipe Castillo, Colonia. Oriente, Mexico. Schmidt said the men had left Heber about 5:30 a.m. enroute to a logging camp. He said two of the men had just joined the crew and several others had only worked there for a short time. "It was a total mess." said Guy Phillips, a Gila County deputy sheriff and one of the first 'officers on the scene. "Bodies were all over the place. They were dead on impact." The accident on State Route 288 about 33 miles south of this northeastern northeastern Gila County community was discovered at 8:15 a.m., about an hour after it had occured, officers said. "Information has been received that the pickup truck carrying the subjects ran off the side of the road, became airborne and hit a tree 15 feet up that sheered the cab off of the truck," the patrol said. Schmidt said the exact distance the truck traveled through the air was still to be determined. determined. Schmidt said the truck was of the type that had an oversize cab with seats in the front and back. Four of the bodies were found in the back seat. The accident took place on a short downhill stretch of roadway between two hills, in the vicinity of Rose Creek in the Sierra Ancha Mountains and about 18 miles north of Roosevelt Lake. The accident occured as the road curved to the left. Schmidt said the truck ran off the left side of the road, became airborne and struck an oak tree about 12 feet from the ground. "The truck was spinning and rolling at the time and the cab hit the tree first," Schmidt said. State Route 228, which runs from State Route 88 to State Route 260, is the only roadway in and out of Young. A work crew from the Department of Transportation discovered the accident. accident.