Phoenix/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 26, 2024
Coolidge Family Gravely Injured in Pinal County Crash, Community Rallies with SupportSource: GoFundMe/Sherwood Family

A family's victory turned to tragedy after a horrific crash in Arizona's Pinal County on Wednesday left three people critically injured, including a mother and son from Coolidge, according to 12News. The collision, which happened near Highway 87 and Arica Road, involved two vehicles that sustained severe front-end damage.

The Sherwood family had earlier revelled in a team roping competition win before the crash almost claimed their lives. Steve Sherwood got wind of the accident moments after leaving the event venue. "We were trailing behind like five minutes," he said, recalling the dread of approaching the crash site. "And as we were going north on Arizona State Route 87, we saw up ahead what looked like an accident." His fears were confirmed when he recognized his family's car. "The first thing I think of was it might be my wife and son since they traveled that road," Sherwood disclosed to 12News.

Both Leigh and Cole Sherwood were found conscious yet seriously injured, with mangled limbs and Cole's bone protruding."I definitely had a feeling, hopefully, it wasn't but in this case, it was. I got up there and saw them and they were both mangled is a good way to put it. Their legs were turned in ways they shouldn't be, my son's arm was broken with the bone sticking out." Cole Sherwood had told his father, as he relayed to 12News. The Eloy Fire District responded to the scene, where firefighters used hydraulic tools to free the victims from the wreckage before airlifting them to trauma centers for treatment of life-threatening injuries, 12News reported.

The investigation into the crash is still underway, but early reports suggest a devastating moment of inattention might have been the cause."I looked at the police report which is incomplete because the investigation is ongoing," Steve Sherwood said. "But apparently he had looked down to check a message or look at his phone and when he looked up the brake lights were stopping, and he didn't have time to stop and his reaction was to veer around that car. Unfortunately, he veered into the oncoming lane so my wife being northbound, she didn't have time to react," he added to 12News.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help defray medical costs. Concerned members of the community can visit the fundraising page to make donations. "It's been amazing to see," Steve Sherwood expressed. "We're so grateful if I could get one message out there I'm so grateful to people. It's a long road ahead but we'll get through this. It would be tempting to be negative and say, 'Why us?' But every once in a while the ball rolls around and it's your turn to have bad luck and you can grow from it and become stronger and I think we're going to." he affirmed in an interview with 12News.