A woman who showed indications of having consumed alcohol was struck by a car while walking on Highway 70 west of Pima late in the evening of Dec. 21.
Dusti Stauffer, 31, of Safford was airlifted from the scene by a LifeNet 10 helicopter and transported to The University Medical Center-University Campus in Tucson for possible head trauma.
According to Arizona Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dan Long, Stauffer and two men, identified as Michael Curtis and Braden Curtis, were last seen at Curley's Place in Fort Thomas before heading eastbound in a truck.
About 2.5 miles east of the bar, the trio pulled over to allow Stauffer to relieve herself. After she was finished, she apparently began walking in the eastbound lane of Highway 70. Author-ities received one report of a vehicle narrowly hitting Stauffer and another about a woman walking in the highway before a call came in at about 11:30 p.m. regarding a collision.
An eastbound couple from Pima in a silver Volkswagen sedan struck Stauffer while traveling at about 60 mph, according to Long. The collision took place near the turnoff to the Ashurst Transfer Station located about halfway between milepost 310 and 311. Stauffer was deflected away from the vehicle and was found in the dirt water canal along the southeast side of the road. Witnesses at the scene stated Stauffer made her way into the canal after impacting with the sedan.
A passenger in the Volkswagen assisted Braden and pulled Stauffer out of the canal and maintained watch over her until paramedics from Southwest Ambulance and the Fort Thomas Fire Depart-ment arrived. According to witness statements, Braden was the original driver when the truck left the bar.
Michael left the scene in the truck before the arrival of authorities and was pulled over about four miles east of the collision by a Graham County She-riff's deputy. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.
DPS closed the highway for about 40 minutes from 12:07 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. to allow a helicopter from LifeNet to land and prepare Stauffer for transport. As of Saturday, she was listed as being in the Intensive Care Unit at UMC.
Long said the driver of the Volkswagen didn't show any impairment and that there was no indication the driver could see Stauffer walking near the center of the highway.