Fatal crash near fairgrounds

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A LifeNet-10 helicopter like this one responded to a fatal collision near the Graham County Fairgrounds on Thursday night. 

By Jon Johnson


GRAHAM COUNTY – A crash involving a white Dodge pickup truck and a Chevrolet compact car resulted in multiple injuries and one fatality Thursday night.

Brianna Varnam, 18, of Safford, was pronounced deceased from her injuries. She reportedly was the driver of the Chevrolet.

Brianna Varnam

According to notes from Graham County Dispatch, first responders were sent to the area of Stockton Road and Powerline Road at about 7 p.m. regarding the collision. One vehicle reportedly came to rest in a ditch while the other struck a tree.

The Safford Fire Department was also called to the scene to provide a vehicle extraction to two people pinned inside, according to Dispatch. Additionally, an adult male reportedly suffered a cracked rib, and a 14-year-old juvenile was the reporting party.

Paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance and a helicopter from LifeNet-10 responded to the area as deputies with the Graham County Sheriff’s Office cleared the way.

There were three occupants in each vehicle. All of the other occupants were taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, according to Sheriff’s Office news release, and a passenger from the car was then flown by LifeNet-10 to a Tucson hospital for treatment.

The press release noted that the Chevrolet was eastbound on Powerline Road when it entered the intersection with Stockton Road as the truck was southbound on Stockton Road. There is a stop sign posted for east and westbound travel from Powerline Road, but the release did not unequivocally state who was at fault for the collision. The crash currently remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Arizona Department of Public Safety.  

This article was updated at 5:15 p.m.