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UPDATE: YCSO investigates fiery mystery

Flames so bad, deputies have trouble identifying vehicle, driver

UPDATE - 2:15 PM

SOMERTON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Somerton Cocopah Fire Department (SCFD) has released more details on a fiery wreck that left one person dead in the South County Wednesday night.

SCFD says firefighters arrived to find the car wedged into a concrete canal culvert at County 19th and Avenue H. The vehicle was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters say tire tracks show the car was heading west when it left the road. They say it hit a large dirt irrigation ditch before hitting the cement culvert and burst into flames.

SCFD confirms finding a body in the vehicle. Firefighters say it was so badly burned they cannot confirm it's gender, or its approximate age.

KYMA.com will continue to follow this developing story and bring you more details as they become available.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE - 11:34 AM

SOMERTON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) reports deputies found a vehicle in a canal which had caught on fire Wednesday.

Public Affairs Specialist Tania Pavlak says it began at about 9:20 p.m. when the office received a call.

"The initial investigation revealed that a late model Mazda sedan was traveling westbound on County 19th Street when for unknown reasons, the vehicle crossed the centerline, traveled into an empty irrigation canal where it became caught within a narrow canal passage and caught fire," Pavlak clarifies.

She points out that deputies pronounced the man dead on scene. Due to the severity of the fire, investigators have not been able to identify the vehicle nor driver.

Deputies suspect speed to be a contributing factor.

Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the YCSO at 928-783-4427 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous. You can also click here to submit an anonymous tip.

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Caleb J. Fernández

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction. Please reach out via email at caleb.fernandez@kecytv.com if you’re interested in collaborating.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

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Mercedes Martinez

Mercedes Martinez joined the KSWT team as anchor/producer in October 2020. You can catch her on 13 On Your Side at 4:00pm.

Reach out to Mercedes at mercedes.martinez@kecytv.com.

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