Update: Details emerge on fatal Christmas crash

Two Maricopa teenagers were killed in a one-vehicle crash on Dec. 25.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, a truck carrying three people rolled on West Papago Road, just east of Pecan Woods Road. PCSO received two 911 calls at around 9:45 p.m.

The three occupants of the vehicle were headed from the Thunderbird Farms area to The Villages at Rancho El Dorado.

Josiah Abbott, 15, and Morgan Martin, 14, died at the scene. The driver of the vehicle, William Gay, 23, of Phoenix, was treated at the scene for serious injuries and then transported to Chandler Regional Hospital.

PCSO spokesman Jim Knupp said Gay was driving a 2001 Dodge truck north on a farm road at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle went through Papago Road, the driver lost control and struck a curb. The truck rolled one time.

Knupp stated none of the three was wearing a seatbelt and all were ejected.

Only Gay had identification on him at the scene, Josiah’s sister Shell Abbott said, which made it difficult for law enforcement to immediately notify family.

The three had been on their way to Shell Abbott’s home and were an hour overdue when Shell called her mother, Ranelle Abbott. She began calling and texting Josiah’s phone. At last, she received a response from a PCSO officer on Josiah’s phone.

The officer did not explain what had happened at that time, waiting until he could talk to family members in person. But Shell Abbott recalled her mother saying, “I think my son is dead.”

It is not the first loss of a child in Robert and Ranelle Abbott’s family of 11. Another son drowned Aug. 12, 2007, at the age of 1 and a half.


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