Updated on Friday, April 23, 2021
Additional investigation revealed that after the at-fault white Ford F-150 pickup truck sideswiped the red Dodge Ram pickup and the white Ford Explorer, it rotated within the northbound traffic lane and collided with the second white Ford F-150 pickup truck, which was also traveling northbound on SR-87. The impact caused the at-fault white Ford F-150 pickup truck to rotate and roll onto its passenger side. The second white Ford F-150 rotated, traveled east off the roadway and down a hill into the canyon.
During the initial phase of the investigation, it was believed the second white Ford F-150 pickup truck was traveling southbound on SR-87 behind the at-fault white Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Originally posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021
On Friday, April 16, 2021, at approximately 8:37 p.m., a four-vehicle collision resulting in three fatalities occurred southbound on State Route 87 (SR-87) at milepost 259, six miles northwest of Payson. A white Ford F-150 pickup truck traveling southbound on SR-87, traveled left of center into the northbound traffic lane and sideswiped a red Dodge Ram pickup truck and a white Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle (SUV) that were traveling northbound. Another white Ford F-150 pickup truck was traveling southbound on SR-87 and collided with the white Ford pickup truck that caused the first collision. The impact redirected the second white Ford pickup truck from the southbound traffic lane, left across the northbound traffic lane, and down a hill into the canyon.
At-Fault White Ford F-150 Pickup Truck:
The driver of the at-fault white pickup truck was transported to a Phoenix area hospital with serious injuries. The driver is 49-year-old Scottsdale man.
The passenger was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced deceased. The passenger was identified as 54-year-old Georgia Marie Burnside of Payson.
Red Dodge Ram Pickup Truck:
The driver and two passengers were not injured.
White Ford Explorer SUV:
The driver and passenger were not injured.
Second White Ford F-150 Pickup Truck:
The driver of the second white pickup truck was transported to a Phoenix-area hospital in critical condition and later pronounced deceased. The driver was identified as 38-year-old Latissia Morris of San Tan Valley.
The passenger, Latissia Morris’ 15-year-old son, was ejected from the truck and suffered fatal injuries.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at approximately 12:46 p.m., troopers arrested 49-year-old James David Duncan, the driver of the at-fault white pickup truck, for three counts of manslaughter, five counts of endangerment and DUI-related charges. Duncan was booked into the Maricopa County Jail.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety was assisted by the Payson Police Department and the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.