Woman flown to UMC after crashing ATV

Jon Johnson File Photo: Marissa Lee Ege, 25, was flown to a Tucson hospital by a LifeNet helicopter after crashing her ATV while returning from drinking at Cluff Pond.

Alcohol listed as possible factor in crash

By Jon Johnson


GRAHAM COUNTY – Marissa Lee Ege, 25, of Central, was flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson on Monday after crashing her 2019 Polaris ATV. 

According to her passenger, Matthew Paul Slusher, 25, of Safford, the pair had been drinking whiskey at Cluff Ponds and Ege was too drunk to drive. He said the ATV overturned and crashed after Ege attempted to turn onto W. Vera Street from Cluff Ranch Road while traveling between 30 – 40 mph. Cluff Ranch Road is a paved two-lane street in that area and W. Vera Street is a private dirt road.  

The pair was reportedly drinking whiskey at Cluff Pond #3 prior to leaving on the ATV.

After the crash, Slusher said he picked up the ATV and drove Ege to her mother’s residence on N. Clay Avenue. While at the residence, Ege became unresponsive and her eyes kept rolling back, according to a witness at the home. She later regained consciousness but then began vomiting. 

Emergency services were dispatched to the residence at about 4:16 p.m. and soon after a helicopter from LifeNet was dispatched as well. The helicopter landed near the residence in an open area of N. Clay Avenue and transported Ege to UMC for treatment. 

After initially denying medical attention, Slusher then advised he wished to be examined and was taken by Lifeline Ambulance to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. 

Prior to receiving medical attention, however, Slusher allegedly agreed to have his blood drawn and a sample was taken for DUI testing purposes. Slusher allegedly admitted to drinking whiskey at the pond and said he had done cocaine two days prior. Additionally, the medication he was taking reportedly has adverse effects when combined with alcohol, according to a paramedic’s information to the reporting deputy. 

Matthew Slusher was transported to MGRMC, where he was treated and released.

Even so, Slusher said if he had been driving the crash would never have taken place because Ege was “too drunk to drive.”

A warrant was grated for Ege’s blood as well and a Tucson Police officer served it at UMC and collected two vials of blood for DUI testing purposes. 

DUI charges against both Ege and Slusher are pending review by the County Attorney’s Office and lab test results.