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Stay Out Stay Alive Fatal Accident Summaries
for 2006


August 5, 2006

A Johnson Ranch, Ariz., man, riding ATVs with his wife and a friend, died Saturday night after he was allegedly shot by a gravel pit security guard. Daniel Ashcroft, approximately age 24, was dead from a 16-gauge shotgun wound to the chest when authorities arrived.

The security guard, William Lee, 72, of Mesa, told police the shooting was accidental. He was arrested on a charge of manslaughter, although the charge may be upgraded, Florence Police Detective Walt Hunter said.

Hunter said Ashcroft, his wife, Tamara, and a female friend were riding ATVs in the area when Ashcroft's machine stalled. The two females had ridden ahead and did not hear the shot. One of the women happened to circle back in time to see Ashcroft grab his chest and fall to the ground.

The mine is private property but the women said the group never saw a'no trespassing´┐Ż sign. They apparently didn't have to go through a fence to reach the area. "There are several ways to get in," Hunter said.

The guard reportedly dropped the shotgun, called 911 and opened the gates so emergency responders could enter the property. (Source: Casa Grande Valley Newspapers)