Truck slams into pickup filled with tail­gaters; 5 are in­jured

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAMES GIL­BERT @YSJAMESGILBERT

Five peo­ple were in­jured, two of them crit­i­cally, Sun­day night af­ter a crash in which a pickup truck ran into a group of tail­gaters and their pickup, which had been parked in a pop­u­lar desert area where off-road­ers are known to hang out.

The crash hap­pened at 9:15 p.m. in the area south of County 19th and Av­enue D, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Capt. Javier Her­nan­dez, with fire­fight­ers from the Somer­ton Co­co­pah Fire Depart­ment re­spond­ing to the lo­ca­tion for a report of a ve­hi­cle vs. pedestrian ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple pa­tients.

Once on scene, fire­fight­ers had to stop on the side of the road on County 19th be­cause the fire en­gine and am­bu­lance could not get to the area in the desert where the crash hap­pened.

An off-road pickup truck that was in the area took EMS per­son­nel with their equip­ment to the scene of the ac­ci­dent.

Upon ar­rival at the site of the ac­ci­dent,

SCFD paramedics de­ter­mined that there were a to­tal of 5 pa­tients, two crit­i­cal and three sta­ble.

All of the pa­tients had been brought by off-road pick­ups to the stag­ing area so that paramedics could start treat­ing, pack­ag­ing and pre­par­ing for trans­port.

The most crit­i­cal of the pa­tients was a 25-year-old male who had a se­vere avul­sion in­jury to his thigh on his right leg. An­other 24-year-old male had a bro­ken left leg. A 20-year-old fe­male was com­plain­ing of pain to her legs, while an­other fe­male, who was also in her 20s, was com­plain­ing of pain to her lower back.

Ac­cord­ing to Capt. Her­nan­dez, “all of the pa­tients could have had in­ter­nal in­juries due to be­ing struck by a ve­hi­cle.”

The last of the pa­tients was an­other male, who is also in his 20s, who was com­plain­ing of pain to his rib cage and minor dif­fi­culty breath­ing. He re­fused treat­ment at the scene. He told paramedics that he would go to the hos­pi­tal on his own.

A wit­ness at the scene stated that all the pa­tients were tail­gat­ing in a parked pickup to the side of the area used for rac­ing when an­other pickup truck, which was trav­el­ing at a high rate of speed, struck the parked pickup.

All of the pa­tients were trans­ported to Yuma Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter by Somer­ton Co­co­pah am­bu­lance, Rural Metro am­bu­lance, and two San Luis Fire Depart­ment am­bu­lances.

The Marine Corps Air Sta­tion Yuma Fire Depart­ment back­filled the Somer­ton Co­co­pah sta­tion dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

The Yuma County Sher­iff Office is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ac­ci­dent.

LOANED PHOTO/ SOMER­TON CO­CO­PAH FIRE DEPART­MENT

SOMER­TON CO­CO­PAH FIRE­FIGHT­ERS re­sponded to a report of a ve­hi­cle vs. pedestrian ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple pa­tients, two of whom were crit­i­cally in­jured, Sun­day night at ap­prox­i­mately 9:15 in the desert area south of County 19 and Av­enue D. The lo­ca­tion is a pop­u­lar spot for off-road­ers.

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