DPS officer killed in southern Arizona

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

DATELAND, Ariz. (AP) -- An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer has been killed on Interstate 8 in southern Arizona. According to DPS, Officer Tim Huffman, a 14 year veteran assigned to the southern Arizona bureau., died at the scene.

DPS spokesman Bart Graves says Officer Huffman and several others were investigating an earlier crash and trying to shut down a lane, when a semi truck barreled into the scene without slowing down or moving over.

One officer had to jump out of the way, before the truck crashed into his patrol car and two others.  Officer Huffman was sitting in the driver's seat of one of the cars hit , according to Graves.

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

DPS says the truck driver is being questioned.  It's too early to know whether drugs or alcohol may have played a role, said Graves.

"This is horrific timing. This comes on a day where we honor, we just had a ceremony today here at DPS to honor our fallen officers, all 28 of them that have died in the line of duty. It's a really sad and profoundly horrific occasion on a day like this." said Graves.  "Our DPS family across the state is in a deep state of grief."

Until Monday night, a DPS officer hadn't been killed since 2009.

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