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4 bodies recovered from ATV crash near Payson, sheriff's officials say

Posted: 6:45 PM, Sep 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-18 03:11:41Z
CCSO: 4 missing after ATV crash near Payson
CCSO: 4 missing after ATV crash near Payson
CCSO: 4 missing after ATV crash near Payson

Forest Service crews are battling a wildfire in the Tonto and Coconino National Forests that sparked after an ATV crash north of Payson.

Coconino County Sheriff's officials say on Saturday just before 4:30 p.m., deputies received a call to assist with a wildfire along Forest Service Road 300.

While en route, deputies learned that the fire was caused by a crash after an ATV went off the 300 Road and over the edge of the rim, falling 400 to 500 feet down the cliff.

Investigators were able to piece together that earlier in the day, four people who had been out riding ATVs had been reported overdue and were last seen in the area where the fire started.

Forest Service personnel have worked to contain the 10-acre wildfire in the area of the crash and on top of the rim.

Crews were able to access the scene of the crash Monday and all four bodies were recovered.

The sheriff's office said the four were out on a camping trip, but have not released additional details. Their names have not been released.

Forest Road 300 is currently closed in both directions from milepost 8 to milepost 11 while crews attempt to contain the blaze.

The investigation is still underway.