PHOENIX — A Department of Corrections wildland vehicle was involved in an accident Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said.
The vehicle was traveling on State Route 79 about seven miles south of Florence, Ariz. when it rolled over.
Doug Nick with the DOC said 10 inmates and two officials were in the specialized vehicle. All were part of a program that teaches inmates firefighting skills.
“This crew was on assignment in Oro Valley,” he said, adding that the crew spent the day cutting back brush.
Five ambulances were called to the scene, said Colin Williams with the Rural/Metro Fire Department.
Nick said both corrections officers were hospitalized as a precaution. One sustained minor injuries.
Nick said that one inmate was airlifted after sustaining non-life threatening back and arm injuries. Six more inmates were taken to local hospitals with “bumps and bruises.” Another inmate was hospitalized with a small head laceration and two more were sent back to prison.
Williams expected victims to be taken to both Phoenix and Tucson.
Two nurses affiliated with the DOC who happened to be in the area rendered aid within seconds of the crash.
The cause of the accident is unknown but DPS is searching for a newer, white Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban driven by an older white male that was in the area. It is believed that vehicle headed south.
Nick said the vehicle did not roll, as originally reported.