Wrecks claim two lives on I-40
KINGMAN - Two accidents south of Yucca resulted in two fatalities and required numerous emergency response agencies within six hours of each other this weekend.
The first wreck occurred at 11:22 p.m. Sunday, according to Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr.
A two-vehicle collision which resulted in a fire occurred on westbound Interstate 40 near milepost 11. It involved a Ford pickup truck, driven by Ralph Salazar, 63, from Lake Havasu City, who was driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of traffic.
He collided head-on with a commercial semi-truck driven by Jeffrey Urick, 43, also from Lake Havasu City.
Yucca Fire Department and Desert Hills Fire Department responded.
"Upon arrival, we found a semi-truck and trailer fully engulfed in flames with a secondary vehicle, later identified as a Ford Ranger, also fully involved," said Yucca Fire Department Chief Kathy Jenkins. "Crews from both responding agencies worked in knocking down the fire to both vehicles."
Urick was able to get out of his vehicle and received minor injuries. He was treated at the scene, released and sought his own medical attention.
Salazar died at the scene from his injuries.
The second incident at 4:47 a.m. Monday involved a three-vehicle collision on westbound I-40 near milepost 16.
At that time traffic was backed up due to the previous fatal collision. A commercial vehicle driven by Alex White, 36, from Evans, Ga., was westbound when he failed to stop for the traffic backup. He collided with a commercial vehicle driven by Reynaldo Rocha-Lara, 52, from Bakersfield, Calif., which was stopped due to the backup. The collision pushed the commercial vehicle driven by Rocha-Lara into the commercial vehicle ahead of it.
Jenkins said Yucca Fire Department requested assistance from Desert Hills Fire Department, Golden Valley Fire Department and Lake Havasu Fire Department due to the extensive extrication that was needed to safely remove two patients from the tractor trailers. ADOT assisted with a front-end loader during extrication and the heavy clean-up that was needed on scene.
White died at the scene from his injuries.
Three passengers from his vehicle - Drakarie Scott, 18, Brandon Manuel, 20, and Tyrell White, 31, from Augusta, Ga. - were airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Rocha-Lara was also airlifted to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas for treatment of his injuries. The driver of the third commercial vehicle was uninjured.
I-40 was closed for approximately six hours.