Rattlesnake contributes to UTV collision with motorcycle

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson


PIMA – The spotting of a rattlesnake in the road helped contribute to a collision between a UTV and a motorcycle on Cottonwood Wash Road near Pima on Saturday.

According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, Alisa Peterson was operating the UTV eastbound on Cottonwood Wash Road at about 8:50 p.m. when she and her two passengers spotted a rattlesnake in the roadway.

Peterson allegedly told the deputy that she pulled over to the shoulder of the road and then started to make a U-turn to check out the snake.

When the UTV pulled back into the roadway, the front driver’s side tire was struck by an eastbound Kawasaki 650 motorcycle operated by Brandon Brown.

Brown advised that he was traveling at 45 mph and saw the UTV on the side of the road. He said the UTV pulled out in front of him and he didn’t have time to react to avoid a collision.

Brown had “slight injuries” to his right leg, according to the report, and after being assessed by paramedics declined transport to the hospital and advised he would go by private vehicle.

The motorcycle had a broken handle bar and there didn’t appear to be any damage to the UTV.

Peterson was found at fault for the collision and was given a citation for making an unsafe lane change.