Aug 132014

By Linda Kor

A head-on collision along westbound Interstate 40 on Aug. 7 claimed the lives of three adults and a child, and hospitalized two other adults.

According to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the incident occurred at 10:46 a.m. last Thursday approximately 25 miles east of Flagstaff when a white 2006 Honda four-door sedan was traveling east on the freeway then drove across the median and struck a gray 2004 Honda four-door sedan head-on.

The white Honda was occupied by Michelle Bernadet Yaeger, 23, Bruce William Yaeger, 66, and Elna G. Yaeger, 68, all of Canoga Park, Calif., and all of whom were pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators could not determine who was driving the white Honda.

The gray Honda was driven by Orlinda Kinlecheenie, 45, who, along with passenger Kelafer Kinlecheenie, 21, was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of injuries. A young child, 3-year-old Kyler Lee Jensen, was deceased on scene. An 11-month-old child was also in the vehicle, but was not injured. All occupants of the gray Honda were from Winslow.

The occupants in both vehicles were wearing safety belts and the children were in child restraint devices.

The eastbound lanes of I-40 were closed for nearly two hours and the westbound lanes were closed for nearly three hours as a result of the collision, resulting in a traffic backup estimated at 10 miles long. The collision remains under investigation by DPS.