New information released on fatal crash

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SIERRA VISTA — Traffic coming into and leaving the city to the north, via Highway 90, was rerouted for almost 12 hours Thursday after two accidents near Airport Road, one resulting in the death of a Fort Huachuca soldier.

The accidents were first reported to the Sierra Vista Police Department at about 2:33 a.m. as a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian, said Tracy Grady, public information officer for the Sierra Vista Police Department.

The pedestrian, Jonathan S. Thomas, 23, was declared deceased at the scene when authorities arrived.

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bubba on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 8:36am
Title: Possible?

If someone died in the accident shouldn’t the headline read "Fatal Accident" - not POSSIBLE fatal accident? It was only a matter of time at that intersection: Large volumne of traffic, many vehicles running the red lights, drivers texting or talking on their cell phones while driving or waiting at the light, and driving over the posted speed limit. Although tragic, perhaps this will warn others to be more vigilant. Why there is no traffic cam at that intersection I do not know - but it would be a great place to cite those who disobey traffic laws or who lack common sense.

Johnnsv on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 11:15am

I agree with you Bubba that is a dangerous road. Except the accident happened by the SV airport entrance what I could see this morning and there is NO light there. But you are correct the light on the intersection of By Pass 90 and BST is very dangerous. We have people turning left towards the East Gate and they think they own both lanes and for us who are turning right to the gate get run off the road to avoid an accident.

My thoughts and prayer to the family of the loss Soldier.

Personal Respon... on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:05pm

Please read the article, the accident was near the airport, not the intersection of the bypass and Buffalo Soldier Trail.  Once you started on that rant, my "Disregard Filter" kicked into high gear and the rest appeared as jibberish.

iron96romeo on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 12:14pm

It is to me ironinc that after somethings happen, the naysayers jump on board and say I new something was going to happen there. SOMEONE ELSE should fix this problem at this intersection.

I got an idea, police yourself up, follow laws, pay more attention, do the right thing and everyone comes out alright. Problem is, thats not human nature, we all, and I mean everyday, get lucky and dont even know how close we come to causing an accident, but because someone was watching out for me avoided it. It is what it is.

bubba on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 1:31pm
Title: My Apologies

My post was written in response to the first article written (not this rewrite) about the accident which stated it occured at the East Gate. You can now turn off your "Disregard Filter" because my "rant" still holds true - whether I’m speaking of the actual Hwy 90 / Bypass Junction or the highway from Huachuca City to Sierra Vista. Too many drivers speeding, texting, talking on their phone, and simply not paying attention. I hope you understand my "jibberish" now "Personal Respon…"

dogmaah on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:28pm

This has to be at least the third fort soldier to die this month.  Every death is tragic.  ….  My deepest condolences to the families of those affected, as surely they were not expecting their soldier member to die today.

Friend on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:46pm

The people who have a green arrow and turn left toward East Gate have the right away on both lanes. The people coming from Huachuca city that are turning right on a RED light should stop first and then proceed if clear. That will prevent you from getting ran off the road when you go through a RED light for the right hand turn. As the MP’s if you don"t believe me.

Aug20 on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 2:53pm
Title: um...

If people are turning left to get to the post gate that means they have a green light and right of way, people turning right are supposed to give way during that time.

Biker85 on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 5:47pm
Title: Negative

When making a turn you have to maintain your lane, you do not have the right to use both lanes. The left turn at the East gate turns left in to the inside lane. I go through there every day and I can maintain the lane no problem.

Langer on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 6:03pm

KVOA reported the name of the deceased young man. 

May he rest in peace and may his family find comfort in precious memories.

Grandma of 4 on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 9:22pm

My sympathy to the family of the soldier who lost his life in this terrible accident. 

This article is not about those turning left toward the east gate; however, I’m one of those coming from Huachuca City direction turning right (after a complet stop) to go on post.  Perhaps you should read the Arizona Driver License Manual, page 44, again.  It states, "On a two-way road, approach the turn with your car in the lane just to the right of the center line. Turn just to the left of the center point of the intersection. Enter the lane just to the right of the center line. This avoids conflict with other traffic making either right or left turns."  Nothing in that statement indicates those turning left have the right of way for both lanes.  Perhaps those turning left should turn into the inside lane like the law says instead of turning wide into the right lane.  That way nobody would get run off the road. If you don’t believe me, maybe you should ask the MPs.

Rancher on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 9:58pm
Title: News is News

Perhaps KVOA believes in the public’s right to know and understands the 1st admendment.

The Herald used to print public information until someone pointed out to them that the name of the solider had not yet been released (a different death)… of course it was still public information, and it is in the police report.

So…. either print the news, or get out of the NEWS business, 24 hours later is not NEWS!

I guess we need to go to Tucson or Phoenix to learn of the news.


Johnnsv on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:30am

Obviously Friend you haven’t read the Driver License Manual when you turn either left or right you turn to the nearest lane if this case the left lane. YOU do NOT the right away on both lanes. People like you are the reason insurance are high in AZ.

Rockhead on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:35am

I agree that 24 hours later is not news, but I see no reason why the military or police department should not have a sensible rule of waiting a reasonable (24 hours is reasonable, in my opinion) for family notification.  If my close relatives were hurt or killed in an accident, I’d want to be notified in a decent controlled manner.  First ammendment:  "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

dogmaah on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:39am

The KVOA video shows a badly-damaged red sedan and what looks like a crushed motorcycle next to a white flat-bed truck.  There was plenty of debris on the road as well, which needed to be swept up and analysed.  I can see why the road took so long to open, but I’m also curious what happened to the cyclist.  Is there more to this story?  Was high speed and/or alcohol involved? …

Rockhead on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:46am

A few years ago I got a warning for making a wide turn off Yaqui or Ramsey onto 92.  After that, I started paying a lot more attention to not doing it, and it IRKs me when I look in the rear view mirror and see others doing it.  In fact, the person behind me did it this morning on the very intersectioin bing discussed (turning towards the East Gate).  Education is a slow process, and some people just don’t care.  I’ll also admit there are some situations where wide turns are more practical (leaving mall area towards Cochise; or Fry’s onto 90 to turn S. onto 92; or leaving Food City to go N. on bypass).

KEEPINitReal on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 11:03am

Friend must be from Cali- where they THINK they always have the right of way lol.

bubba on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 12:23pm
Title: Good Point

Good point "Rockhead" and nice quote about the First Amendment - although the key to that is the C word - Congress. Congress has not made any laws restricting info for 24 hours. That comes from the police and/or the military who have not broken any First Amemdment rights. On a similiar note - the right to peacefully assemble is not abridged when agencies require a permit to do so. Again, Congress has not made that law or stipulation. Sure - legal word splitting - but that’s what laws are - words; and how they’re interputed and by who… 

Rancher on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 6:19pm
Title: Just curious

Does anyone see the purpose in keeping Hwy 90 closed for 12 hours?  All 4 lanes and the shoulders, to conduct an accident investigation and clean up?  It seems that is now standard proceedure to make the public go far out of their way while the law enforcement people study the scene of the mishap.  I can think of several fender benders at Canyon de Flores and Hwy 92 where everone is re-routed somewhere else.  Take some pictures, mark the pavement, re-construct the accident later and get the public moving again!  And Sierra Vista leaders, perhaps you need to plan another North South way into town, or at least a two lane route thru Fort H.


RamseyWillie on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 7:56pm

 All accidents, especially fatal ones, are terrible - however they will continue to occur.  We should look at the bigger picture - there has not been a road constructed that heads north from Sierra Vista since before I moved here in 1956.  The area’s population has increased many times since then, but there have not been ANY NEW ROADS constructed in southwest Cochise County that connect population centers since Hwy 90 was built between I-10 near Benson and "The Y" at Hwy 82 (now Whetstone) in 1961!  The amount of time wasted and cost incurred by employers because of the decisions to repeatedly shut down 90 needs to be recognized and delt with.  Whether 90 is shut down because of a fire in Huachuca City or gas trucks overturning near the East Gate (two separate incidents), or illegals running from the Border Patrol and killing bystanders, it is time for the City, County and the Army to acknowledge that we have a real problem here with having a singl

Hereford Steve on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 9:15pm

This problem was highlighted several years ago when that elderly couple was killed while waiting to turn left onto the post at the East Gate.  We are pretty much stuck with our road system but what we can control is how the police over react to such situations. …There is a lot more to this story to come out.

Just The Three of Us on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 6:33am
Title: sort of

I can see why they would close off the lanes to traffic.  Have you ever observed the idiocy and rudeness with which drivers approach/pass accident scenes? Or even just a cop on the side of the road handing out a ticket?  If I were the police, I wouldn’t want to try to conduct an investigation on a busy highway if I could help it.  And lucky for them, they can!  As for length of time, my guess: it has a lot to do with the complexity and extent of the scene.  These days they can’t just take a few pics, draw a chalk outline around the body, and leave. They have a lot of things they have to do for the courts and if they fail to do them, it’s coming back to bite them.  Don’t blame the police for that.  Blame society in general for actually wanting to be sure they get all the facts so that in case someone is at fault there might actually be a chance of convicting them and punishing them.

Texas on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 7:12am
Title: Repulsed!

 After reading some of these posts on here it seems to me that some people don’t care that there was a fatality in this accident. If the road were closed for 12 hrs it’s due to the pedestrian who was involve in the accident was the one who died. Someone lost a father, son, husband, brother, friend….while many of your were worried about rushing to ur appointment or being late for whatever this young mans life ended. My heart and prayers go out to his son, wife, family and friends. 

Hereford Steve on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 7:46am

I subscribe to the SV Herald.  It gets delivered way out here by 5 am every morning.  Great service, nice employees, but overall in situations like this "accident" very disappointing.  As a test, I inserted some hearsay into my reply to "Rancher" below.  It is credible hearsay from people that should be in the know but it has not been publically released.  Of course that line was edited out.  I don’t have a problem with that, this is their news site, not mine.  But what I find disturbing is the Herald’s willingness to not print news unless it comes off the Public Affairs handouts from either the SV police department or Fort Huachuca.  Why doesn’t the Herald just put Tanja Linton on the payroll.  Where are the simple day-to-day reporters that have some basic curiosity, know the basic interrogatives, and understands the public’s desire to know what is going on around them?

Sumtingwong on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 9:24am

Interesting that the police and the Herald will report if the driver, of a car involved in an accident was drinking. But never report if the pedestrian was.

Rancher on Sun, 03/18/2012 - 8:50am

I also heard about what really happened with the accident, I wonder when the news media will report it.  My comments was also censured.

Pedestrian out at 2:30 AM, North of the Airport Road?

OK, there’s a lot more to this story..


Sumtingwong on Sun, 03/18/2012 - 10:01am
Title: Rancher, Hint

Don’t hold your breath. There are many stories that the Herald never follows up on. Talk about censoring, they censored two comments of mine, on the article about the home invasion. Apparently if a person has an inkling about something that they didn’t print, it can’t be commented on.

If they didn’t censor the comments, there would be more news in the comment section than on the front page. I can see them not printing hearsay in their articles, but in the comment section? What are they afraid of?

Knight Rider on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 7:23am
Title: Agree...

I couldn’t agree more with you all. I understand fact checking and the desire to only report credible information, but there are many folks who know about the events that surround that accident and so far no one is reporting anything. Maybe it is because there is an ongoing investigation or maybe the SV Herald has been told not to report things. I have seen instances like that in other small towns where the local media is told what they can print and what they can’t. I hope that isn’t the case here. Also I don’t expect to see much in the way of a follow-up. I recall an accident where a motorcyclist ran into the back of a truck and we read that toxicology tests were being conducted, but the Herald never reported what the outcome was. There have been many other stories that have peaked interest that are simply not followed up on for some unknown reason.

honeybee on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 9:47am

Agreed. I’ve heard the story, great reference.

The Sierra Vista Herald censors news. I was tempted to call KGUN9 or KVOA on Friday to talk about it.

Local town or not, it is wrong for the Publisher to be in the city’s pocket.



honeybee on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 9:50am
Title: Publisher

Agreed. Where is the real reporting? Is SV Herald privately owned by the Publisher, or do they have a newspaper chain backing them? I bet no on the newspaper chain, or they would have this kind of news all over the pages.

huachuca ryan on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 1:29pm
Title: Me too

I also would like the details released.  This incident kept me in traffic for an hour and 25 minutes longer than usual and I would really like to know what happened.  Why won’t they tell us?  I am not alone, many are wondering what happened and why it is not being reported.

abninf on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 1:30pm

considered that this is a being treated as a criminal investigation and the fatality under unknown or suspicious circumstances necessitates minimal disclosure by the authorities to the press and general public during on-going investigations?  

Appears not…

Sumtingwong on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 2:14pm
Title: Honeybee

Google Wick Comunications, and you will learn all you want to know about it. But noone will ever know the why, the Herald is run like it is. It would be interesting to know if all their publications are. Things have sure changed since the founding, by the current owner’s father. Although the current owners don’t really have a hands on approach with running the Herald, other than attending board meetings, and one of them, having their daughter have a title.

honeybee on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 6:50am
Title: yes

If it’s a criminal investigation, they should state it is a criminal investigation.  But for SV here in Cochise, that covers almost all news!  How many times do you see follow-through for investigations in the SV?  This accident is just one of many news points of crime in this city and I’m wondering if investigations get dropped or the news gets dropped.

Dale88 on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:45pm
Title: Lacy

I am sorry to hear about the accident… are there any updates on the particular details? I think it has to do with crime, so a thorough inveestigation with experts involved is compulsory.

BrittneyBarrett on Sat, 06/09/2012 - 5:17am

Thank you a lot for keeping us up to date about the whole story! I held my breath every time I saw news and worried so much about these people.

AvidSVHeraldreader on Sun, 10/20/2013 - 2:49pm

I know this is old but if you are turning right on red any vehicle who has a
green light has the right of way regardless of lane choice. They have a green
light and everyone else has a red light which means STOP and they must yield
to any vehicle with a green light, they don’t have to yield to someone
turning on a red light, regardless if they came to a complete stop or not.

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