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PRESS RELEASES

Arizona Department of Public Safety Grieves Over The Loss of Officer Tim Huffman

14-year veteran Highway Patrol officer dies in crash on Interstate 8

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 -

On May 6, 2013, at around 5:10 p.m., three Arizona Department of Public Safety officers assigned to District 4 were investigating an injury collision on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 8 at milepost 40, about 40 miles east of Yuma. The fire department had requested that the officers close the number-two lane to allow the transport of the injured. A DPS Officer parked his patrol car with the emergency lights flashing, on the number-two lane. Officer Tim Huffman’s patrol vehicle was parked a few feet away on the shoulder. Huffman was in his car writing a report on his MDC.

Moments later an empty tanker truck was traveling eastbound in the number-two lane of I-8 heading toward the closure. Despite the flashing lights and the Officer’s attempt to signal to the truck driver, the semi-truck struck the DPS Officer’s patrol vehicle in the number-two lane pushing it into Huffman’s vehicle. The Officer was able to jump out of the way moments before the crash. The force of the impact killed Huffman who was still inside this vehicle. The tanker slammed into a pickup truck belonging to the fire department which was pushed into another DPS patrol vehicle belonging to another DPS Officer who was not in his car. His vehicle struck the rear of a parked fire department truck.

The driver of the semi truck was Jorge Espinoza, 33, of Yuma. At the time of the crash, Espinoza was traveling from Yuma to Phoenix. He was not injured in the crash and is cooperating with investigators. He is currently not in custody but the investigation continues.

Tim Huffman was 47. He is survived by three siblings who live out of state. He joined DPS 14 years ago and was assigned to District 4, which is based in Yuma. Huffman became the 29th DPS officer to lose his life in the line of duty.

“The DPS family across the state as well as the entire law enforcement community are grieving the loss of this excellent officer. His death, coming just two hours before the state ceremony honoring fallen officers, is especially sad. Tim Huffman’s service to the citizens of Arizona will never be forgotten. It’s another reminder of how police officers put their lives on the line everyday in service of their communities,” said Robert Halliday, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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