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Crash on 89A stops southbound traffic entering Cottonwood

Crash on 89A stops southbound traffic entering Cottonwood

A major accident just past Rocking Chair Ranch Road at State Route 89A halted southbound traffic entering Cottonwood for several hours Wednesday afternoon. Drivers were diverted to the Mingus Avenue Extention,...

Two people died Thursday, Oct. 8, following a sweat lodge ceremony at Angel Valley Retreat Center located down Forest Road 525B between Sedona and Page Springs.

Verde Valley Fire District personnel were called to the scene at 5:19 p.m. Crews found several victims who had been involved in sweat lodge ceremony. Approximately 48 people participated in the ceremony that lasted over two hours, according to VVFD reports.

angel-valley-deaths-10-14Initially, four patients were flown to Flagstaff Medical Center and six more were taken to Verde Valley Medical Center, in Cottonwood. In total, 21 people were evacuated to area medical centers, the reports stated.

A middle aged man and woman who were taken to VVMC were pronounced dead shortly after arrival. Their names have not yet been released pending notification of next of kin, the reports stated.

At least one victim remains in critical condition.

Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at 10:27 p.m. and began conducting a full investigation. Deputies were still on the scene Friday, Oct. 9.

YCSO Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Section will determine the exact causes of death and other injuries. Detectives are also obtaining a search warrant for other buildings on the site.

The victims had been inside a “sweatbox” structure on the north side of the property. The sweat lodge was dome shaped and covered in tarps and blankets. Hot rocks and water are used to create a steam inside the closed structure, according to YCSO.

Owners of the retreat center told VVFD personnel that the center was rented out and being used by an outside agent, according to reports.

The retreat center is located south of Hwy. 89A along Oak Creek, west of Sedona and east of Page Springs.

Christopher Fox Graham

Larson Newspapers


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  • My prayers and condolences to the family of the victims.<br /><br />Regards,<br />

  • I know that the new age culture is a huge part of the Sedona economy, but when is something going to be done about all of these "guru's", "shamans", and "enlightened ones" who are in our town doing many things that can be considered borderline illegal. Have any of you ever gone looking to see what is really going on in the Sedona new age community? I know the RRN did a series a while back about the cults and groups operating here and let me tell you they have gone nowhere. In fact they are increasing rapidly. Until someone does something to regulate these groups things like this will continue to happen. Group operating permits, inspections on the sites where the activities take place (although this death lodge was taken down almost immediately after it happened-where is the crime scene containment Sedona PD?) and regulations on when and where these can take place need to be implemented. Look around the internet and see how many of these new age leaders are using Sedona for their training and some say brain washing grounds. Try the Rick Ross site for starters.,30230,77469#msg-77469

  • Apparently this isnt the first person to die at one of his events this year.,77450,page=4<br /><br />And here is a transcript of a phone call he made that includes this comment "This, I think, is the worst part of the entire conference call. Barb is one of James Ray’s staff members and she goes on to talk “of the two that had passed and they left their bodies during the ceremony and had so much fun they chose not to come back and that was their choice that they made.” This is going to be really hard for James Ray and his people to explain when the autopsy results are released, because people do not cook themselves to death. They just don’t." <br /> <br /><br />He had to make that appointment in San Diego didn't he. Cant leave money lying on the table when there is brainwashing to do.

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