DUI driver rescued from flaming car after going over cliff

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DUI driver rescued from burning car

COTTONWOOD - An accused drunk driver plows through a neighborhood, hits at least one car then goes over a cliff and bursts into flames.

It happened Saturday evening near Western Drive and Highway 260 in Cottonwood.

Neighbors are still in shock. They say they heard a crash, saw sparks flying and a car speeding down their street and, still, no one could believe what happened next.

Looking out his window on Saturday evening Jose Esquer says he still cannot believe what he saw. He explains, "It was just like a loud crash."

One loud crash followed by another. Esquer adds, "He did hit my aunt's car down the street. They had their car parked on the side of the road and he just came, hit their car and tried to flee and that's when he went over."

About 30 feet down below, Sheely Sarcisian was driving eastbound on 260 when she saw the car launch off the cliff right in front of her. She explains, "It looked like something from the movies. I felt like it wasn't real, like it was in the movies.

It didn't bounce or anything when it hit. It just landed right in the road in front of me."

Witnesses say it nearly landed on top of her. "He was about two seconds from me," Sarcisian says.

The car, clearing traffic and construction, hit the ground then burst into flames.

Sarcisian helped the driver to safety. That is when witnesses say it became clear he was both drunk and disoriented.

Sarcisian explains, "I asked him several times if there was anyone in the car with him and he was not able to give me a straight answer so I went ahead and opened the back door."

Thankfully no one else was inside. The driver of the car, 23-year-old Sean Murphy of Phoenix, was treated for minor injuries and arrested for drunk driving.

The Yavapai County Sherriff's Office says his blood alcohol level was .23, which is nearly three times the legal limit.

Sarcisian says she is just thankful no one else was hurt. "I thank God everyday."

Deputies say alcoholic beverage containers were found at the scene. Murphy now faces several charges including extreme dui.