DPS officer killed near Yuma
A 14-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety was killed Monday night when his patrol car was hit by a tanker truck in southwestern Arizona.
The crash took place as three DPS officers were investigating an injury collision in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 8, about 40 miles east of Yuma. The department says fire officials had asked DPS to close one of the lanes of I-8 to allow the transport of those injured in the rollover accident.
Officer Tim Huffman was writing a report in his patrol car in the closed lane of the freeway, when an empty tanker truck ignored the flashing lights of other DPS vehicles and the signals of a DPS captain to stop. The truck rear-ended one of the DPS cruisers, pushing it into Huffman’s vehicle and killing him.
The tanker truck driver, 33-year-old Jorge Espinoza of Yuma, was traveling from Yuma to Phoenix at the time of the crash. He was not injured and is cooperating in the investigation. DPS says there is no evidence of impairment.
Huffman, who had worked his entire career in the Yuma area, was the 29th DPS officer to lose his life in the line of duty.