Community meeting held in Yarnell following deadly crash involving YCSO sergeant

On Friday, August 26, a Yavapai County Sheriff's officer struck and killed a woman while driving home in Yarnell, and days later, on Sept. 1, the Yarnell community came together for a meeting with officials, as they work to prevent such tragedies, moving forward.

The victim, identified as 74-year-old Donna Gordon, was crossing the street at Highway 89 and Post after having dinner with friends when the sergeant, identified as Dakota Brinkley, struck and killed her.

Brinkley, according to officials, was driving home in his work vehicle, and called for medical assistance right away. He had a small injury from training earlier that day, and was in an arm sling.

Gordon died at the scene. The Department of Public Safety has not released information about speed or any other factors that might have led to the crash.

Victim remembered as community members talk solutions

People at the community say Gordon was beloved in the community.

"This is a tragedy," said Chris Crane. "Donna was a valuable member of the community. Volunteer. This is heartbreaking."

Crane said he saw the aftermath of the scene on 

This is going to be a difficult conversation because I don't have good words," said Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes. "I don't have an explanation that's going to make this better."

Community members say they have been fighting to get a crosswalk in the area where the incident happened for years. During the community meeting, they discussed that and several other ideas for making the area safer.

"Get some speed control in town," said Crane. "It's getting ridiculous."

"In addition to a middle turning lane? How about diagonal parking?" said another person at the meeting.

"A south center turn lane, as simple as re-striping what is already there," said one of the meeting's attendees. "That is something that needs to be considered."

Officials say they going to bring all the information they got from the meeting, and work to figure out other steps, moving forward.

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