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PRESS RELEASES

DPS Officer in critical, but stable condition after being hit by tractor-trailer near Flagstaff

12-year DPS veteran was assisting with other weather-related collision early Sunday when he was hit

Monday, November 30, 2009 -

Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer Kenneth J. Henscheid was injured at approximately 12:10 a.m. on Sunday, November 29, 2009, after he was hit by an out of control semi-tractor trailer traveling north on I-17 near Munds Park south of Flagstaff. Henscheid had just arrived on the scene of a previous rollover accident involving a van and had parked his patrol car on the northbound right shoulder of I-17 at milepost 322. The van was originally northbound but had lost control crossing through the median and rolling over into the left southbound lane.

Henscheid was checking on the occupants of the van when he and the van were struck by the northbound tractor-trailer that had lost control and crossed the center median. The impact threw him under a third vehicle that had just pulled over on the right southbound shoulder to avoid being struck by the tractor-trailer, pinning Henscheid to the ground. Several citizens lifted the car off of him and pulled him free.

One citizen was able to use the officer’s police radio to call the DPS dispatch center in Flagstaff for help. Officer Henscheid is currently in critical but stable condition with multiple fractures and internal injuries at Flagstaff Medical Center. The collision is under investigation by the DPS Vehicular Crimes and Reconstruction Unit. Preliminary information suggests the bridge just south of the collision had iced over, contributing to the initial van rollover and the tractor-trailer losing control.

Henscheid, 40, originally of Phoenix, is a 12-year veteran of DPS. Henscheid spent his first two years with DPS as a Highway Patrol officer in Page, Ariz., before transferring to the Flagstaff area where he has worked for the past 10 years as a Highway Patrol officer. He is married with one adult child and three small children, ranging from one to six-years of age.

We would like to recognize and thank the citizens and first responders for the help and assistance they provided to DPS during this incident, including the Yavapai and Coconino County Sheriff’s offices, Sedona Fire Department, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Guardian Ambulance, and the Flagstaff Medical Center.

-End-

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