I-8 wreck claims life of 14-year veteran of DPS - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

I-8 wreck claims life of 14-year veteran of DPS

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Tim Huffman Tim Huffman

An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer has been killed on Interstate 8 in southern Arizona.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves says Officer Tim Huffman had been responding to a collision when he was rear-ended by a tanker truck while sitting in his patrol car.  Huffman's cruiser then smashed into a patrol car that crashed into a fire truck.

Luckily, no officers or firefighters were inside those vehicles, so they were not hurt.

The collision happened Monday evening near the community of Dateland, about 65 miles east of Yuma.

Graves says this could not have come at a worse time.

"We had a ceremony today here at DPS to honor our fallen officer, all 28 of them who have died in a line of duty," he said.  "Our DPS family across the state is in a deep state of grief right now."

At that service Monday, friends and family were on hand in downtown Phoenix.  It's an annual event held by the Arizona Highway Patrol along with DPS, bringing out many people who've lost a loved one while they were on duty.  Governor Jan Brewer was also on hand at the ceremony.

Graves says Huffman was a 14-year veteran of the state agency who was assigned to the southern Arizona bureau.

According to DPS, the driver of the tanker truck, 33-year-old Jorge Espinoza, is cooperating with the investigation, but it's still unknown whether he will face any charges. 

Related story: 28 fallen DPS officers remembered at ceremony

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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