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Dangerous Trailers.org Nichols-Peru Needless Loss Of A Life

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Uploaded on Mar 15, 2011

Why? We know what needs to be done!!

Crash takes officer recruit's life

By Jon Johnson
Assistant Editor
Published on Monday, February 14, 2011 3:52 PM MST
A man who was training to become an officer with the San Carlos Police Department died after his vehicle was struck by a trailer in a head-on collision Sunday afternoon.

Aaron Peru, 26, of Safford was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. His passengers, Melanie Denise Nichols, 34, and her son, Justin Collins, 16, both of Safford, were flown to the Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale for treatment of their injuries.

According to Department of Public Safety officer Stewart Shupe, Peru was westbound at about 3:35 p.m. on Highway 70 when the crash occurred. Peru was traveling in a 1998 Chevrolet minivan on his way to meet with other recruits in San Carlos. The recruits were then slated to travel with each other to the police academy.



About three miles east of San Carlos, a 2000 dual-axle homemade trailer containing horse-shoeing equipment disconnected from an eastbound 2001 Toyota Sequoia driven by Tad Dryden, 34, of Safford. The trailer crossed over the highway's center line and collided head-on with the driver's side of Peru's minivan. Dryden was with his wife and their 2-1/2-year-old-son at the time of the collision. Their vehicle was not directly involved in the crash, and none of the Drydens were injured.

Nichols suffered various injuries, including a fracture to her skull, a sprained ankle and numerous lacerations. As of Monday, she was still being treated at the OMC.

Collins suffered lacerations to both arms, right eye and left shin. He was scheduled to undergo surgery at the OMC on Monday afternoon. Officer Shupe told the Courier he was surprised Collins' injuries weren't more extensive because the minivan flipped onto its passenger side during the collision and pinned Collins' arm underneath it.

"I don't know how he didn't break his arm," Shupe said.

DPS officers closed the highway for several hours and didn't open the westbound lane until about 9:30 p.m. The investigation is still ongoing, and no citations have been given as DPS officials have not yet determined what caused the trailer to detach.

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