Bodies of hotshot victims arrive in Prescott Valley - Tucson News Now

Bodies of hotshot victims arrive in Prescott Valley

Posted: Updated:
U.S. Highway 89-A was unrecognizable as a highway, looking more like a parking lot with families lined up and down the sides, all waiting for the homecoming of 19 fallen heroes. (Source: CBS 5 News) U.S. Highway 89-A was unrecognizable as a highway, looking more like a parking lot with families lined up and down the sides, all waiting for the homecoming of 19 fallen heroes. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -

It took four and a half hours for the 19 hearses to reach the Yavapai County Fairgrounds.

U.S. Highway 89A was unrecognizable as a highway, looking more like a parking lot with families lined up and down the sides, all waiting for the homecoming of 19 fallen heroes.

Longtime Prescott resident Alex Stritmatter came with her son and a friend, Prescott Valley Vice Mayor Lora Lee Nye.

Stritmatter was not at all astonished by the people who came out in droves.

"You don't want a crisis to happen, but when it does, you want to know that people have your back," she said.

It took hours, but it all came down to the moment when the caravan of 19 hearses carrying the bodies of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30 arrived.

The names of the Hotshot inside each Hearse was posted in the window.

"Jesse Steed, Clayton Whitted," read Stritmatter as they passed by.

Flags waved, hands placed on hearts and tears fell. Respects were paid as the caravan made its way to the fairgrounds.

"I've never been speechless in my life," Stritmatter said.

A DC-3 air tanker dropped 19 purple streamers to honor each life lost when the hearses arrived.

"Instead of a story in the paper and an image on the television screen, this is the reality," Nye said. 

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • KOLD Now FeaturingMore>>

  • Sidebar: Yarnell Hill Fire

    Wildfires

    Thursday, December 19 2013 8:02 PM EST2013-12-20 01:02:20 GMT
    SPECIAL SECTION SLIDESHOWS VIDEOS RESOURCES
    SPECIAL SECTION SLIDESHOWS VIDEOS RESOURCES
  • Arizona WildfiresMore>>

  • 600-acre fire burning on southern Arizona ranch

    600-acre fire burning on southern Arizona ranch

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:44:06 GMT
    © CBS 5 News© CBS 5 News
    Fire officials say a lightning-caused blaze hasn't threatened any structures but charred an estimated 600 acres on a large ranch in southeastern Arizona. Sonoita-Elgin Fire District Battalion Chief Kevin
    Sonoita-Elgin Fire District Battalion Chief Kevin Venos says the O'Donell Fire doubled in size Saturday evening when the wind shifted during a burnout operation in O'Donnell Canyon.
  • UPDATE

    Progress: Brown Fire now 25 percent contained

    Progress: Brown Fire now 25 percent contained

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:09:36 GMT
    Brown Fire in ArizonaBrown Fire in Arizona
    The human-caused Brown Fire is burning northwest of Sierra Vista, said Heidi Schewel of the Coronado National Forest Fire Department.
    The human-caused Brown Fire is burning northwest of Sierra Vista, said Heidi Schewel of the Coronado National Forest Fire Department.
  • UPDATE

    AZ wildfires spark restrictions on national forests, state land

    AZ wildfires spark restrictions on national forests, state land

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:50:39 GMT
    Arizona wildfire restrictionsArizona wildfire restrictions
    The U.S. Forest Service is planning to enact fire restrictions Friday, about one month earlier than normal. Campfire and smoking restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. on the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott
    Campfire and smoking restrictions will take effect at 8 a.m. on the Coconino, Kaibab, Prescott and Tonto National Forests.
Powered by WorldNow