Fri, Jan. 24

Biker ends ride in Clarkdale

CLARKDALE -- A 52-year-old Cottonwood man was killed near the intersection of SR 89 and Old Jerome Highway.

The crash occurred at about 2 p.m. Sunday.

Jerome police say Stanley Leonard Scott, the motorcycle rider, was passing a car at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the bike, spun off the road and struck a highway reflective marker.

No other vehicles were involved.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

Scott suffered head and facial injuries and injuries to the leg and ankle, but was unresponsive throughout the entire event.

He was originally loaded into an ambulance and transported to Clarkdale-Jerome School, where a helicopter landing zone had been established and was expected to be transported to a regional trauma center. But after working with paramedics with the medical helicopter, he was transported to Verde Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Two killed in Saturday crash on 69, two from Clarkdale injured

PRESCOTT -- Two people from Dewey died Saturday in an early morning collision on SR 69. Two others from Clarkdale were hospitalized.

At about 2 a.m., a northbound 2005 Kia driven by 84-year-old Robert Milton Hogan of Dewey crossed the road and struck a 2005 Ford sedan heading south, according to the DPS.

Doctors pronounced Hogan dead at a local hospital. A woman riding in the Kia died at the scene, said police. She was not immediately identified.

The driver of the Ford, Melena Angeline Rocha, 34, of Clarkdale, was treated and released at a Yavapai Regional Medical Center. A passenger in the Ford, Manuel Theodore "Teddy" Rocha, 63, also of Clarkdale, was admitted to John C. Lincoln North Hospital. He is now home in Clarkdale.

Neither the driver nor the passenger who lost their lives in the crash wore seatbelts, but the survivors in the Ford had their seatbelts fastened, police said.

Get a permit to burn and, then, make sure it is dead out

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood Fire Department was called Tuesday morning to smoke in the area of Mescal Wash near On the Greens golf course and Pine Shadows.

Cottonwood Fire Chief Mike Casson says the fire was permitted, but the blaze had gotten too big and there was no available water nearby and a full fire assignment was dispatched.

Fire Marshal Rick Contreras says it is important to clear weeds away from property before the fire season gets well underway, but it is also important that people comply with permit rules and know what they may and may not burn, how large a fire may be and that water availability is important.

Verde Valley Fire crews responded to several calls linked to outdoor burning this past week.

One VVFD fire was caused by a sparking electric fence. Another involved a controlled burn that had rekindled and was burning again. The district is regularly called when sparks from vehicles ignite roadside brush. Be sure to check vehicles for dragging chains or metal that might be a hazard, and be sure to properly extinguish any smoking materials inside a vehicle.

Saturday, Interstate-17 was shut down for two hours after a spark touched off a smoky fire that quickly grew to 75 acres. It is thought to have started from a discarded cigarette.

As the weather gets warmer, drier and windy, it is important to take precautions while burning. First, get a burn permit from the fire agency. Then, be sure to call on the intended day to make sure burning is allowed that day. Many who have recently moved to the area fail to get a permit and smoke brings fire fighters.

Fire agencies appreciate people preparing for the hot weather, by clearing weeds and fire hazards, but burning is only permitted when conditions are safe. Be sure to clear vegetation from around fences, buildings or anything else that could cause issues.

Be sure to completely extinguish the fire with plenty of water, making sure flames are completely out cold just as you would a camp fire. Winds can rekindle these piles and cause fire dangers. Burning trash, lumber and non-organic material is never permitted.

If you are a Verde Valley Fire District resident, and planning an evening cooking or warming fire, we ask that you contact us to make sure a red flag alert has not be raised and that conditions are appropriate. Keep fires small and controllable, and then make sure you completely extinguish coals.

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