Crime/Courts/Emergency Services

Sedona man dies after Wednesday crash

Last Wednesday morning, a two-vehicle injury collision occurred just north of Bill Grey Road on Highway 89A.

The investigation revealed that a 1994 Mitsubishi driven by 77-year-old Joseph Zowada of Sedona collided with a 2005 Peterbuilt semi-truck driven by 31-year-old Maurice Trotter of Berkley, Calif., in the southbound lanes of Highway 89A just north of Bill Grey Road. As a result of the collision, Joseph Zowada was flown by Guardian Air to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Emergency crews say Zowanda was in the high-speed lane when he suddenly drifted to his right directly into the path of the big truck. The small SUV was struck by the commercial vehicle, and spun off the side of the road into the desert area.

Thursday afternoon, Joseph Zowada died at the Flagstaff Medical Center as the results of his injuries. According to the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office, Zowada died from blunt force trauma injuries sustained during the crash.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

Man charged with sex with minor

A Rimrock man has been charged with sex crimes with young boys. Marion Lee Gale was been arrested and charged with five counts of molestation of a child, sexual misconduct with a minor and furnishing sexual materials (pornography) to a minor.

The investigation followed a report from the victim's mother that in early January of this year, Gale sexually assaulted her son. Another witness reported that Gale assaulted her son during the late summer months of 2005 but the child had been afraid to report it.

The Sheriff's Office says the investigation brought to light a history of Gale's involvement with sexual misconduct and pornography, but it was never brought forward until now. Gale is being held on a $250,000 bond.

Camp Verde accident

Three occupants of two vehicles including a 16-year-old girl were transported to Verde Valley Medical Center for treatment Friday after a two-vehicle collision near Camp Lincoln Road and Montezuma Castle Highway. Jack Blum of Camp Verde Fire says the accident was a rear-end accident at 2:30 p.m. The teenage girl was cited for failure to control her vehicle to avoid an accident.

I won't do it again

A Camp Verde marshal's deputy pulled over when he spotted a vehicle parked at the side of General Crook Trail with its brake lights turning on and off. When the officer knocked on the window, he saw a man with what appeared to be a glass meth pipe with white residue.

Driver Charles Pitts then attempted to conceal the pipe and told the officer, "Please let me go home, I won't do it again," according to police. Pitts admitted that he had smoked methamphetamine. A small baggie of meth was found in the dash, police said.

A drug recognition expert found Pitts impaired with stimulants and a urine test was positive for methamphetamine.

Pitts was booked for possession of dangerous drugs, paraphernalia and DUI/drugs.

Highway closed again

Arizona 89A was closed for an hour through Clarkdale during drive time Tuesday morning. Witnesses say a 2000 Buick sedan was making a left turn from Lincoln Drive onto 89A and was hit by a '76 GMC pickup pulling a cement mixer. Two occupants in the car both had minor injuries and were transported to VVMC. Jeanette Louise Jacobson was cited for failure to yield right of way from a left turn.

After the accident, the pickup driver left to find a trailer to remove the cement mixer, but it was gone when he returned. Clarkdale Police are now asking for public help in recovering the 3.5 bag Essik cement mixer.

Car burns

A 1989 Plymouth burned and was destroyed at the Griffith Enterprises parking lot near the Coury dealership. Assistant Verde Valley Fire Chief Mike Flummer says the older Plymouth had a fuel leak in the engine and burst into flames after the Griffith employee parked Tuesday morning. The vehicle was pushed away from other vehicles but it was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived. The fire is considered accidental. The vehicle, estimated to have a $1,500 value, is considered a total loss.

PANT busts couple for meth sales

A couple has been arrested for possession of dangerous drugs for sale. An officer with the PANT task force observed a drug transaction and made a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle near the Verde Santa Fe golf course on Cornville Road. A K-9 alerted on the vehicle, giving probable cause for a search. A semi-automatic handgun was found in the vehicle and both subjects were arrested.

A suspect's home was search and detectives recovered 51 grams of methamphetamine, 14 grams of cocaine and $1400 in currency. PANT values the meth at $5000 and the cocaine at $1500.

Johanora Gonzales, 27, was charged with the dangerous drugs sales offense, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Monico L. Quintero, 29, was booked for misconduct as a prohibited possessor.

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