City collision Thursday sends three to hospitals

A three-vehicle collision Thursday afternoon in Cottonwood resulted in one driver being airlifted by air ambulance to a Phoenix-area hospital and two other people being taken to a local hospital.

The collision apparently was caused by one vehicle following another too closely and then making an unsafe lane change, according to a Cottonwood Police Department report.

The accident occurred at approximately 1 p.m. in the 800 block of East Arizona 89A, near South 8th Street and in front of the Oxendale Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership, according to the report.

A blue 1976 Ford pickup, driven by Rebecca Lynn Fretz, 38, of Cottonwood, reportedly was traveling westbound in the curb lane. She allegedly told police she saw a vehicle in front of her slow down abruptly.

Fretz’s vehicle reportedly moved toward the median westbound lane and collided with a red 1992 Plymouth sedan, driven by Clint Jamison Shellmon, 28, also of Cottonwood.

Shellmon’s vehicle reportedly slid and struck a third vehicle, a gray 2002 Dodge pickup, rep[orted to have been eastbound and stopped in the center turn lane.

The momentum reportedly carried the Plymouth sedan over the top of the Dodge pickup, driven by Randall J. Clifton, 52, also of Cottonwood. Clifton reportedly was uninjured.

Shellmon was first transported to Verde Valley Medical Center, then taken by air ambulance to John C. Lincoln Hospital-North in north Phoenix. He reportedly had lacerations to the forehead.

Later Thursday afternoon, police stated Shellmon was being kept for observation, but apparently had no serious or life-threatening injury.

Fretz and her passenger, 19-year-old Christina L. James of Cottonwood, were transported to Verde Valley Medical Center for treatment of possible injuries.

Police said Fretz was cited at the hospital for an unsafe lane change and following too closely.

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