Safford/Bryce Road fatal crash victim identified

A passenger who was ejected from an SUV in a rollover on Safford/Bryce Road on Thursday and was found deceased at the scene has been identified as Rene Richard Villescas, 35, of Safford.

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY  – A man who died after being ejected in a rollover on Safford/Bryce Road on Thursday morning has been identified as Rene Richard Villescas, 35, of Safford. 

Villescas was a passenger in a 2004 Ford Expedition that rolled in the 2100 block of W. Safford/Bryce Road early Thursday morning.  

According to the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, EMS personnel were dispatched to the area at about 4:15 a.m. and discovered the crashed vehicle in a canal. 

The Sheriff’s Office investigation showed the SUV was westbound when it went across the eastbound lane. At one point, the vehicle was traveling sideways on the road and went into the canal on the south side of the roadway, where it rolled and then came to rest upright. 

Villescas was ejected from the SUV during the rollover and was pronounced deceased at the scene. An autopsy with the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner will be performed. 

The SUV’s driver, Miguel Angel Constante Berlanga, 31, of Thatcher, was transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  

“The Graham County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety, continue the investigation,” the Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release. “The Sheriff’s Office is grateful to all the first responders who gave their assistance, the Safford Police Department, Thatcher Police Department, Department of Public Safety, and Lifeline Ambulance.”