Fallen DPS Heroes

AHPA Officer Memorial CeremonyThe Arizona Highway Patrol Association, along with DPS, remembers each fallen officer at their annual memorial that takes place the first Monday of May.  The commemorative event not only honors these 29 men that paid the ultimate sacrifice, but reminds their survivors that they will never be forgotten.

To officers past – a tribute
To officers present – a reminder
To officers yet to come – a legacy.


Timothy Huffman

Timothy A. Huffman, 47 Officer Tim Huffman   Residence: Yuma Badge: 5430 End of Watch: May, 6, 2013 Officer Huffman was on scene helping investigate an injury collision on Interstate 8, 40 miles east of Yuma, when a tanker truck failed to yield to the closure of the number-two lane on the highway. The driver of the semi-truck, Jorge Espinoza, 33, first collided with DPS... 

May 8, 2013 | Read the story »

Chris R Marano

On Thursday, December 17, 2009, DPS Officer Christopher R. Marano died from injuries suffered when struck by a vehicle on the Loop 101 freeway in Phoenix. Officer Marano, who had served with DPS almost four years, was in the process of laying down “stop sticks”, a tire deflation device, in an attempt to end a pursuit when he was struck Follow  Read More →

December 17, 2009 | Read the story »

Bruce W Harrolle

DPS Officer/Paramedic Bruce W. Harrolle was killed while assisting with a search and rescue mission of two stranded hikers. Officer Harrolle was struck by the helicopter’s rotor blades and fatally injured. Officer Bruce Harrolle, 36 years, is survived by his wife, two young children, and parents. Follow  Read More →

October 13, 2008 | Read the story »

Brett C. Buckmister

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on March 21, 2000, DPS Officer Brett Buckmister was killed when his patrol car collided with a van on US89 in Page, Arizona. Officer Buckmister was responding to another collision on US89 at the time of the fatal collision. Three of the five occupant of the van received fatal injuries in the collision. Officer Buckmister started his career with... 

March 21, 2000 | Read the story »

F.J. “Skip” Fink, Jr.

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... 

February 18, 2000 | Read the story »

Juan N. Cruz

Officer Cruz, along with two other DPS officers, were blocking the high-speed (left) traffic lane of Interstate 10 in Tucson, Arizona, with their patrol vehicles, while investigating a prior collision. A westbound vehicle driven by Tucson resident Marissa A. Rodriguez, 21, struck the rear of Officer Cruz’s vehicle, which was positioned at the far east end of the... 

December 9, 1998 | Read the story »

Douglas E. Knutson

While standing and waiting for a tow truck to remove an abandoned vehicle at the gore point of Scottsdale Road and westbound Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway), Motorcycle Officer Knutson suffered multiple injuries when struck from behind by a small pickup truck driven by Brett Baxter, 22, of Tempe. He was taken to Maricopa County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officer... 

January 2, 1998 | Read the story »

Robert K. Martin

Officer Martin was shot to death during a traffic stop on the Beeline Highway, about seven miles north of Shea Boulevard. With 27 years of service, Officer Martin had the most years of service among DPS/AHP officers killed in the line of duty. His assailant, Ernesto Salgado Martinez, a 19-year-old ex-convict from Globe, fled the scene and was captured two days later in... 

August 15, 1995 | Read the story »

Sgt. Michael L. Crowe

E.O.W. July 5, 1995 Sgt. Crowe was shot to death along with Yuma Police Department Lt. Dan Elkins after they arrived at the Southwest border Alliance headquarters building near the Yuma International Airport. The two were members of the SBA task force and had agreed to meet at the building to discuss missing items from the SBA property room. Upon entering the building, they... 

July 5, 1995 | Read the story »

Reserve Sgt. Mark Dryer

While standing near a motorist he had stopped for speeding 20 miles south of Phoenix on Interstate 10, Sgt. Dryer was struck and killed by a passing car driven by Charles Robert Ransier, 33, of Phoenix. Sgt. Dryer was the first DPS reserve officer to be killed in the line of duty. The motorist, who was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident, was sentenced... 

July 3, 1993 | Read the story »

Sgt. David J. Zesiger

m.p. 367.3Sgt. Zesiger was leading a family to a campsite near McNary when his fully-marked departmental Chevrolet Blazer was struck head-on by a pickup truck driven by Calvin Dayea, who was found to be driving under the influence. In April 1993, Dayea was sentenced to four years in a federal prison but was released Dec. 21, 1994. Ten days later, Dec. 31, 1994, he was... 

July 3, 1992 | Read the story »

Sgt. Manuel H. Tapia

Sgt. Tapia was shot at about 7 p.m. Jan. 7, 1991, in Nogales by a drug suspect. He died at about 1 a.m. Jan. 8, 1991, at Tucson Medical Center. The suspect, Noel Gonzales-Bernal of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, was fatally shot by a Nogales police officer. The incident occurred in Nogales, about a mile north of the border, after Tapia and the Nogales police officer stopped... 

January 8, 1991 | Read the story »

David G. Gabrielli

Officer Gabrielli was killed while investigating a previous fatal crash on U.S. 89, just south of Valencia Road in Tucson. Officer Gabrielli, who was standing in the median with Sgt. John M. Blaser, was struck from behind by a car driven by a drunken driver, James B. Sheets. Officer Gabrielli died at the scene. Follow  Read More →

August 31, 1990 | Read the story »

Sgt. John M. Blaser

Sgt. Blaser died after being transported to a Tucson-area hospital. He was the first DPS line supervisor to die in the line of duty. The driver, James B. Sheets, was found guilty July 18, 1991, of manslaughter and reckless endangerment by a Pima County Superior Court jury. In September 1991, a judge ordered Sheets to serve 9-year sentences on each of the two manslaughter... 

August 31, 1990 | Read the story »

Johnny E. Garcia

Officer Garcia died while responding to a report of a drunken driver whose car was stuck in a right-of-way fence near the Picacho interchange on Interstate 10. While passing a car on State Route 84 near Casa Grande, Officer Garcia’s patrol car struck loose gravel, rolled three times, hit a car and then a tree. Follow  Read More →

October 14, 1989 | Read the story »

Ed Rebel

Officer Rebel, 50, was shot to death while attempting to arrest a suspect driving a stolen car near Marana on Interstate 10. Officer Rebel, despite his mortal wound, was able to fire a volley of shots, killing his assailant, Bruce Beaty, 23, of Houston. Beaty was believed to be part of a stolen car ring. Follow  Read More →

June 28, 1988 | Read the story »

Bruce A. Petersen

State Route 61 m.p. 357. Officer Petersen was in pursuit of a speeding vehicle on State Route 61 near Concho when his patrol vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Follow  Read More →

October 20, 1987 | Read the story »

Thomas McNeff

Pilot McNeff was flying a DPS helicopter in a rainstorm when it crashed in a cotton field near Marana. The DPS aircraft was en route to Catalina to pick up a pregnant woman and fly her to a Tucson hospital. Follow  Read More →

October 2, 1983 | Read the story »

Richard Stratman

Paramedic Stratman was on the same mission as Pilot McNeff in a departmental helicopter during a rainstorm when it crashed in a cotton field near Marana. The DPS aircraft was enroute to Catalina to pick up a pregnant woman and fly her to a Tucson medical facility. Follow  Read More →

October 2, 1983 | Read the story »

William H. Murie

Officer Murie was en route to Phoenix from Flagstaff on Nov. 16 when he stopped just north of Phoenix on Interstate 17 to assist at a crash scene. He was struck by a passing vehicle, crushing his legs and a wrist. Complications resulting from these injuries led to his death on Nov. 19, 1980. Follow  Read More →

November 19, 1980 | Read the story »

John C. Walker

Officer Walker was shot and killed while working an undercover cocaine case. He was sitting in his car at Tucson International Airport when he was shot. The assailant, Genaro Celaya, 28, of Ajo, was captured a short time later with Walker’s flash roll in his possession. Celaya is serving a life sentence in an Arizona prison. Follow  Read More →

November 30, 1979 | Read the story »

Noah M. (Mac) Merrill

During a traffic stop on Interstate 10, eight miles east of Benson, Officer Merrill was struck by a passing tractor-trailer. Follow  Read More →

December 11, 1978 | Read the story »

Gregory A. Diley

Officer Diley, 28, was returning to Kingman following a narcotics investigation when he was killed in a one-vehicle crash west of Kingman on Interstate 0. The death of Officer Diley, who was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Bureau at DPS, was the first outside the Highway Patrol Bureau. Follow  Read More →

December 2, 1977 | Read the story »

Alan H. Hansen

Officer Hansen was killed in Kingman when a railroad tanker loaded with butane exploded. In all, 13 people were killed and 112 were injured in the afternoon explosion. Click here to read Hansen’s 40 Year E.O.W. Anniversary Story with AHPA Follow  Read More →

July 19, 1973 | Read the story »

Don A. Beckstead

A few minutes after shooting Officer Keeton, Greenberg shot Officer Beckstead during another traffic stop. It is believed that Officer Beckstead was not aware of the shooting involving Keeton. Officer Beckstead died two days later in a Gallup, N.M., hospital. After shooting the two DPS officers, Greenberg kidnapped and killed another person during the chase before New... 

February 7, 1971 | Read the story »

James L. Keeton

Officer Keeton was shot to death with his own weapon by Bertram Greenberg, a suspect in the rape and murder of a 13-year-old California girl. Keeton, who lost his pistol during a skirmish with Greenberg, was shot after stopping Greenberg for a traffic violation on Interstate 40, 12 miles west of the New Mexico state line. Follow  Read More →

February 5, 1971 | Read the story »

Gilbert A. (Gib) Duthie

Officer Duthie was the first Arizona Department of Public Safety officer to lose his life in the line of duty. The preceding three deaths occurred before the formation of DPS. Officer Duthie died the evening of Sept. 5 when his patrol car was swept away by Sycamore Creek flood waters near Sunflower on State Route 87. Officer Duthie and his patrol car were found the following... 

September 5, 1970 | Read the story »

Paul E. Marston

Patrolman Marston was shot and killed by prison escapee Danny Lee Eckard during a gun battle on a farm in Chino Valley. Eckard, nicknamed the Desert Fox by the Arizona media for his ability to escape and survive in the desert, was then fatally shot by Patrolman Ron Mayes who was riding with Marston. End of Watch – June 9, 1969 Follow  Read More →

June 9, 1969 | Read the story »

Louis O. Cochran

While stopped along U.S. 80 one mile east of Dateland, Patrolman Cochran’s patrol car was struck from behind and burst into flames, killing the officer. It was the first death in the 25-year history of the Arizona Highway Patrol. End of Watch – December 22, 1958 Follow  Read More →

December 22, 1958 | Read the story »