Off-road driver killed in remote canyon near Mammoth

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Mammoth Fire Department personnel assist the Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger Helicopter Crew after the two agencies along with Pinal County Sheriff’s Office made a rescue following a fatal accident. (John Hernandez photo)

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue were called in Friday, March 29 at 8 p.m., to look for an overdue off-road driver in a remote area of the Galiuro Mountains. He and some friends were four-wheeling in the area of Carpet Hill in separate vehicles. His friends called PCSO when he failed to show at the rendezvous point.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety Ranger Helicopter also flew in to help with the search.

The driver and his vehicle were found in a remote ravine at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday, March 30. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Due to the rough terrain, his body could not be retrieved until later Saturday morning. The DPS Ranger, with assistance from Pinal County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue personnel and the Mammoth Fire Department, retrieved the body. The DPS helicopter flew into the rugged area and the crew was able bring out the body. It was flown to the Ralph Herrera Shooting Range on Copper Creek Road where it was lowered to the ground by a cable. Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and Mammoth Fire Department personnel then loaded the body onto a vehicle for transport.

The victim in the accident was identified by Pinal County Sheriff’s Office as Richard John Hamilton of Benson. He was 51.

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