Off-Duty Cottonwood Police Commander Dies in Crash Caused by Impaired Driver on SR-89A in Cottonwood
On September 7, 2020, at 2:39 PM, 41-year-old Jason Howard Engel of Camp Verde was driving a sport utility vehicle (SUV) southbound on State Route 89A at Willard Street, within the City of Cottonwood.
Engel drove the SUV left of center and struck a motorcyclist head-on within the northbound traffic lanes of SR-89A.
The motorcycle operator, identified as 49-year-old Jody Michael Makuch, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Jody M. Makuch was a Cottonwood Police Department commander and was off duty at the time of the collision.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is conducting the collision and criminal investigation at the request of the Cottonwood Police Department.
State troopers booked Jason H. Engel into the Yavapai County Jail on the charge of Manslaughter. Additional felony and misdemeanor charges, including Criminal Damage and Endangerment, are pending.
Impairment is suspected.