Mesa man dies after being ejected from off-road vehicle near Flagstaff

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FLAGSTAFFF -- A Mesa man died Saturday after being ejected from an off-road vehicle near Flagstaff.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, a group of people from Mesa was camping at the Cinder Lakes Recreation Area, which is north of Flagstaff.

Sheriff's office spokesman Gerry Blair said five of them left camp in a vehicle converted for off-road use, commonly referred to as a sand rail.

An 18-year-old male was driving the vehicle with a 25-year-old man in the front passenger seat and three juvenile female passengers.

Blair said sheriff's deputies believe that the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to flip end-over-end multiple times. The front-seat passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected. The vehicle then rolled over on the ejected victim.

Deputies and bystanders performed CPR on the victim, who was then flown to the Flagstaff Medical Center where he later died.

The driver and the three female passengers were wearing seat belts and were not ejected from the vehicle. The females were taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

Deputies are investigating the possibility that speed and the fact that the victim was not wearing a seat belt were factors in this collision.