HEBER-OVERGAARD — A three-vehicle head-on collision occurred on Friday, Sept. 10 at 8:45 a.m. on State Route 260 at mile marker 301, closing the highway in both directions until approximately 1:30 p.m.

The vehicles involved were identified as two pickup trucks and a Ford sedan, authorities state.

According to an email from the Media Relations Department of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), one person was pronounced dead at the scene. One person was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment and two others were flown to Phoenix area hospitals. One of the injured persons was reported to have life-threatening injuries.

The deceased driver was Michael Lemon, 67, of Payson. DPS stated that a westbound vehicle crossed the centerline hitting two eastbound vehicles at high speed.

Lemon was in one of the eastbound vehicles.

Multiple agencies, including Heber-Overgaard Fire District, Timber Mesa Fire and Medical District, AZ DPS, Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Lake Fire & Rescue, Arizona Department of Transportation, Taylor-Snowflake Fire & Medical, Native Air 7, Guardian Air Angel 5, Air Evac 15, Guardian Air Angel 6, Air Evac 32, and helicopters assisted with the accident.

Reach the reporter at bbruce@wmicentral.com

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

(2) comments


I think we need a big bunch of infrafracture money to be taken seriously to fix this ongoing death threat.


no matter the law somebody will always be in a hurry. And decisions like that are why we have theses crashes. People are arogent and don't care about anybody else but themselves and having to get where they are going with no regard to other peoples lives.

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