THATCHER — When a jeep hit a motorcycle Wednesday, both vehicles caught fire.
At 3:47 p.m., the Thatcher Fire Department was called to the Blue Ponds area of Thatcher, just south of Daley Estates. According to Thatcher Fire Captain Jay Larson, when the fire department arrived, both vehicles were still on fire.
Larson termed the two-wheeled vehicle a dirt bike, while the Graham County Sheriff’s Office called it a motorcycle.
“Apparently, one of the witnesses used an ice chest to run down to the Blue Pond to carry water and throw it on the Jeep. When we got there, it wasn’t really a huge fire; they had done a pretty good job of keeping the fire down,” Larson said. “When we got there, there were officers and law enforcement around helping with first aid. But that was to the side; we didn’t go in that area because we were dedicated to the fire. I believe it was the fuel tank of the dirt bike that started the fire. That’s what a witness told us. That’s what the witness who threw the water on the Jeep told us.”
Larson said the motorcycle was nearly a complete loss and that one individual was taken away by ambulance. According to a news release by the Graham County Sheriff’s Office, the rider of the motorcycle was a 17-year-old male. The motorcycle and the Jeep were both approaching what witnesses called a blind corner from opposing directions when they hit directly.
The rider of the motorcycle was thrown up onto the roof and windshield of the Jeep. According to the news release, the motorcycle rider was taken to Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, and then flown to Banner University Medical Center in Tucson. As Eastern Arizona Courier went to press, the motorcycle rider’s condition was unknown.
Investigation into the incident is ongoing.