DPS officer killed by helicopter blade during rescue

Posted: Updated:
azfamily.com

SEDONA -- A Department of Public Safety officer was killed Monday when he was struck by a helicopter blade while rescuing stranded hikers in Sedona.

Mourning loss of DPS officer

According to DPS, Officer Bruce W. Harrolle, 36, was assisting in the rescue of two lost and dehydrated hikers near Bear Mountain in the Sedona area.

Harrolle was on the ground apparently attempting to escort the hikers to an awaiting helicopter.

According to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, one of the hikers was able to enter the helicopter safely.

Investigators say the pilot was holding the helicopter steady. When Harrolle tried to pull the second hiker out of the brush, he likely stood up and the rotor blade hit him in the head.

The second hiker was not injured and both were flown from the area to safety.

DPS can't believe this tragedy.

"It really hurts," DPS Lt. Jim Warriner said. "It's all one brotherhood and we all try and take care of each other and it's something that we all will struggle with."

Harrolle was a nine-year veteran of DPS and is survived by his wife, two young children and his parents.

The DPS Special Investigations Unit and the National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating.

Prior to Monday's incident, DPS had not lost an officer in the line of duty since March 2000.