Cochise County Sheriff dies in car accident

September 19, 2012

The sheriff of Cochise County along the Arizona border died in a single car accident Tuesday night. The circumstances are still unknown. From Tucson, Michel Marizco has the story.

Larry Dever Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was killed in a car accident Tuesday. (Photo courtesy Cochise County Sheriff's Office)

Officials say Sheriff Larry Dever died near the northern Arizona town of Williams at about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Dever was known as a border hawk. He was first elected in 1996. He served as sheriff through years of turmoil as Arizona became the funnel for illegal immigration into the U.S.

In recent years, he became a supporter of Arizona's SB 1070 law and was the only county law enforcement official on the border to do so. In a recent interview earlier this summer he described the unique challenge of being a pass-through point for illegal migrants.

"We’re a gateway, a fountainhead, a floodgate sometimes. But there’s nothing to hold them there, they’re just trying to get through," Dever said.

Officials say the crash is still being investigated.