Floyd J. “Skip” Fink, 53
End of Watch: February 18, 2000
Officer Fink had just stopped an eastbound motorist on the Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60) near McClintock Drive, Tempe, when his patrol car was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Robert Stavers, 22, of Mesa. Upon impact, Officer Fink’s patrol car burst into flames, trapping the 28-year DPS veteran officer. Several people tried to rescue the DPS officer, who had not yet removed his seatbelt, from the flaming wreckage, but were unable to do so until they were able to douse the flames with personal extinguishers. The Miami native was pronounced dead about an hour later at the Maricopa County Hospital Burn Unit. Stavers was charged with second-degree murder, endangerment, possession and use of dangerous drugs, possession of marijuana, and leaving the scene of a fatal crash. In December 2000, Stravers pled guilty to a charge of manslaughter. On March 30th, 2001, Stravers was sentenced to 18 years in prison, the maximum allowable under the plea deal reached with Maricopa County prosecutors. Just two weeks short of his 28-year anniversary with the Department, Officer Fink had the most years of service among DPS/AHP officers killed in the line of duty.
Twenty-nine Arizona Highway Patrol/Department of Public Safety officers gave their lives in the line of duty. These brave heroes and their families are in the hearts and minds of all who worked with them, of those who follow in their footsteps and of the public whom they served.
Of the 29 deaths, eight were the result of murder, 17 were traffic related, two died in a helicopter crash, one died in a helicopter accident, and one killed when a train exploded.