Sun, July 21

Two children killed, mom injured in apparent road rage

An apparent case of road rage Friday afternoon along Interstate 17 south of Camp Verde resulted in two Scottsdale children being killed and their mother being injured, according to a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Flagstaff.

The accident occurred at 3:44 p.m. on I-17 at Mile Point 285.7, south of the intersection of Arizona 260, said Public Information Officer Mark Hall, of the department's Northern Patrol Bureau.

"It was a typical case of road rage," said Lt. Frank Lopez, district commander of the Arizona Highway Patrol's District 12, comprising Yavapai County and part of Coconino County.

"(The two vehicles) were playing games, back and forth," he said.

A silver 2000 Ford Expedition, driven by Deborah Ann Uhlir of Scottsdale, was traveling north on the interstate behind another vehicle. Both vehicles reportedly were in the left or high-speed lane, Lopez said.

He said that the front vehicle reportedly touched its brakes when the sport-utility vehicle driven by Uhlir was following closely behind, then reportedly moved to the right or slower lane.

Uhlir, apparently angered, reportedly followed the other vehicle into the right lane, instead of remaining in the left lane and going on past, Lopez said.

When the vehicle in front reportedly applied its brakes a second time, the SUV swerved to the right and went off the highway's right side.

"She lost control," said the Highway Patrol district commander.

The SUV driven by Uhlir overturned multiple times and came to rest on its roof on an on-ramp below the highway.

Uhlir was injured and was transported to John C. Lincoln North Hospital at North Mountain in Phoenix, Hall said.

Lopez said Monday afternoon that she had two broken legs and a broken neck, and was listed in serious condition at last report.

Uhlir's two sons, Andrew C. Uhlir, 10, and James D. Uhlir, 7, both passengers, were pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The driver and passengers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, said Hall. However, Lopez said that the two boys, having smaller builds, apparently had slid out of their seatbelts sometime during the accident.

Lopez also said the other vehicle reportedly stopped initially when the accident occurred and then proceeded on. However, DPS officers soon located that vehicle, he said.

DPS officers were continuing to investigate Monday afternoon, and Lopez said prosecutors are considering charges to be filed.