Autopsy: Driver shot self before fatal crash in Arizona

AP News
Posted: Jun 09, 2015 6:58 PM

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) — An autopsy confirmed that a man whose SUV collided with an oncoming car in the tourist community of Sedona, killing two people, had fatally shot himself before the crash, authorities said Tuesday.

The Coconino County medical examiner's office determined Ross "Scott" Willoughby, 48, of Cottonwood, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Sedona police Lt. Lucas Wilcoxson said sheriff's deputies in a nearby county were actively searching for Willoughby at the time of Sunday afternoon's crash because they had a report that he was suicidal. Sedona police didn't learn of that search until after the crash occurred.

Willoughby's 1996 Jeep Cherokee was westbound on state Route 89A when it crossed the center line and collided head-on with a car driven by a Phoenix man. That man's wife and mother-in-law also were in the car.

The driver, Moorthy Somashundarum, 33, and the mother-in-law, Bhuvaneswari Ponnanbalam, 66, were killed. The driver's wife, Swapna Ponnanbalam, 29, was in critical condition at a Flagstaff hospital.

Wilcoxson said Bhuvaneswari Ponnanbalam was a resident of India, but police have been unable to determine her hometown.