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Two still hospitalized after crash near Telegraph Pass
Two of the nine people injured in a single-vehicle rollover accident Saturday night near Telegraph Pass remained hospitalized Tuesday at Yuma Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
According to Battalion Chief David Rodriguez of the Wellton Fire Department, the accident happened at 6:20 p.m. when a tire on a Chevrolet Tahoe carrying eight teenagers and an adult female driver suddenly blew out, causing it to rollover and slide down into a ravine.
The 44-year-old female driver and one female passenger are still hospitalized, but everyone else has been released over the past few days, according to Bishop Greg Titensor with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I talked to all the parents and we have some broken bones, scrapes, bumps and bruises, but everyone is doing well and they are at home recovering.”
Titensor was following the Tahoe in a separate vehicle and saw the accident as it happened. “My heart just sunk. My initial thought was fear because there were teenagers in there.”
The teens are part of the church's Cibola Ward. Titensor said the Tahoe and two other vehicles, also carrying teens, were on their way to Wellton to attend a dinner and youth dance at the ward there.
Titensor said after the accident, he pulled his car over as soon as he could, had his wife call 911 and started running back to where the Tahoe had gone over into the ravine.
“The dust was so thick you couldn't see anything. By the time I got to it, several of the children were already out, and three or four others were starting to climb out of the windows. I was expecting to see much worse.”
Rodriguez said when firefighters and paramedics arrived, they used rescue ropes to tie the Tahoe to a rescue vehicle in order to stabilize it. The female driver, however, was trapped and had to be extricated by Rural/Metro firefighters.
“We had to climb down a hill to get to the vehicle,” Rodriguez said. “It came to rest next to another six- to eight-foot drop-off.”
Eight of the patients were transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center by ambulance: one by Tri-Valley, two by the Yuma Fire Department and five by Rural/Metro. The driver had to be flown from the scene by a Careflight helicopter due to the severity of her injuries.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.