Department of Corrections van rolls over near Florence

FLORENCE, AZ - A Department of Corrections van rolled over Wednesday afternoon near Florence, leaving several inmates and an officer injured, according to authorities.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. about six miles south of Florence on State Route 79.

Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux said there were 10 inmates and two staff members in the vehicle at the time.

Lamoreaux said one inmate suffered injuries to his arm and back and was transported to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix for treatment. His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Another inmate is being treated for a minor cut to the head, and six other inmates are receiving treatment for "bumps and bruises".

One corrections officer sustained minor injuries and is being treated at an area hospital. The second officer was uninjured, but was checked by medical personnel as a precaution.

Lamoreaux said the accident happened while crews were returning from an assignment in Oro Valley en route to the Arizona State Prison Complex – Florence where the inmates are housed.

Fortunately, two nurses who work for the DOC health care provider happened upon the scene of the accident moments after it occurred and were able to provide immediate medical attention.

It is unclear at this time what caused the rollover, but Department of Public Safety Officer Carrick Cook said officers are looking for a newer white Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban that may have been involved. The older male driver of the SUV is believed to have left the scene traveling south.

Officials say the inmates on board the van are part of the Wildland Fire Crew.

Lamoreaux said the Arizona Department of Public Safety will conduct the accident investigation.


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