Thursday, August 14, 2008

KINGMAN - Mohave County Sheriff's deputies arrested Steven Michael Merz, 28, early Thursday morning for possession of drug paraphernalia. Deputies observed a suspicious vehicle driving in the area. Deputies observed the truck drive to the end of a cul-de-sac and drive onto a private residential property. Deputies further observed the vehicle turn around and start traveling out of the cul-de-sac. At about 2:10 a.m., deputies conducted a traffic stop in the 4200 block of north Pinal Street and contacted Merz, the driver. Deputies smelled an odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle, a MCSO release stated. Deputies had Merz exit the vehicle. Deputies observed a glass pipe with residue on the front seat, the release stated. During conversation with Merz, he said that he was the designated driver for his two passengers. Merz was taken into custody without incident. During further conversation with Merz, he said the pipe did not belong to him. Merz was transported and booked into the Mohave County Jail. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

MESQUITE - Officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety are investigating a fatal rollover accident that occurred at 6 a.m. on Monday on Interstate 15 near milepost 3.

The driver of the vehicle, Ryan Thomas Cooper, 27, of Washington, Utah, was seriously injured in the accident and flown to Mesa View Medical Center in Mesquite. He later died from his injuries.

DPS believes Cooper was traveling southbound on I-15 when, for unknown reasons, his vehicle traveled off the roadway to the left, entered the center median, then traveled back onto the roadway where he lost control and skidded back into the median and rolled several times. His truck landed upright facing northbound in the northbound emergency lane.

Beaver Dam Fire Department responded and transported Cooper to MVMC. The crash is still under investigation.