UTV driver flown to Tucson hospital after collision at highway intersection

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Safford Police Department is investigating a UTV driver who was badly injured in a crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and U.S. Highway 191 for DUI.

Driver investigated for possible DUI

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD – A man driving a UTV side-by-side reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and U.S. Highway 191 (1st Avenue) on Sunday and collided with a westbound gray Buick.

The collision, which occurred just before 7 p.m., caused the driver, identified as James Davis, to be ejected from the UTV.

The driver of the Buick advised that she went through a green light at the intersection and never saw the UTV until the collision. The driver also had two children, both age 10, in the car with her. No injuries to the occupants of the car were listed in the police report.

Another witness who was also westbound on U.S. Highway 70 corroborated that the Buick had the green light and the UTV, which was northbound on 1st Avenue, ran the red light.

Davis was initially treated at the scene by a Pima Police officer who is also a certified EMT and was then transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center. According to the police report, while being transported to the hospital Davis allegedly admitted to drinking “a few shots” of alcohol.

Davis reportedly became combative while at MGRMC and was sedated. Due to the severity of his injuries, he was then flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, where he had to have emergency surgery.

Prior to being flown to Tucson, Davis’ blood was collected at MGRMC after a warrant was granted for DUI-testing purposes. The warrant was necessary because Davis was unconscious at the time and could not give consent.  

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