Avondale man dies in ATV crash near Heber


A Valley man was killed in an ATV accident on Saturday, May 6, near Heber.

That morning, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a call reporting the accident on Forest Service Road 9915K outside of Heber. Deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers arrived on scene to find Clarence Hicks, 55, of Avondale, the single occupant and driver of the 2016 ATV, dead from apparent blunt force trauma to the head.

Witnesses reported a group of family and friends were camping off Forest Service Road 122 and were riding off road vehicles just off the dirt road of 9915K when Hicks attempted a jump.  As he launched off the jump, his ATV nosedived about 30 to 40 feet on the downhill side. The ATV cut hard to the right and landed on its left side. Hicks was not wearing a helmet and he was not buckled in the ATV. The investigation into the crash confirmed the witnesses’ account.

Clarence’s remains were turned over to the Navajo County Medical Examiner’s Office for a post-mortem examination to determine the cause and manner of death. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to NCSO Chief Deputy James Molesa.

Sheriff K.C. Clark, stated, “There are too many tragic fatal accidents involving off-road vehicles where occupants are not wearing the proper equipment. The laws of physics and the laws of the State of Arizona apply in Rural Arizona. Residents and visitors must take heed of both.”