PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) – A Peoria motorcycle officer injured in a crash Wednesday morning has died.
The incident happened shortly after 11 a.m. at Liberty High School near 97th Avenue and Deer Valley Road. Officer Jason Judd was rushed to the hospital immediately after the crash but later died of his injuries, police said.
"Today is a tough day for the Peoria Police Department," said Peoria police Chief Art Miller as he spoke out about the officer's death in a news conference Wednesday afternoon outside Honor Health - Deer Valley.
Judd was a 21-year veteran of the department, and he served as a motor officer for 17 years. He was also an Air Force veteran. "He was a husband, a father, a friend and just a great cop," Chief Miller said. "Jason was one of the finest of our finest."
Officer Brandon Sheffert of the Peoria Police Department said Judd was on-duty at the time of the crash. He had been at Liberty High School to perform a demonstration as part of a youth camp. The crash happened after the demo and after the students were already inside.
"The motorcycle came out from under him and he crashed," said Sheffert.
Angela Harrolle, President of the 100 Club of Arizona, says the non-profit will be meeting with the Judd family on Friday to provide financial relief.
"It's one of the hardest roles that we have is to try to let them know that our arms are open we're there to listen," says Harrolle. "We're there to hopefully be able to provide guidance if necessary."
Harrolle says public health restrictions on gatherings might make it difficult to honor Ofc. Judd today, but she says it's important to remember his service now and in the future.
"Hopefully when our society opens back up and we don't have the same constraints associated with COVID-19 or curfew, we can continue to bear hug this family and let them know we still remember and we will always remember."
Glendale police will handle the investigation into what caused the crash.
Gov. Doug Ducey has ordered flags around the state be lowered to half-staff Thursday in Judd's honor.
Arizona is saddened by this tragic loss, and our prayers go out to Officer Jason Judd’s family, loved ones and the entire @PeoriaPoliceAZ community. In honor of Officer Judd’s life and service, I have ordered flags be lowered to half-staff tomorrow, July 2, 2020. #RIP https://t.co/5orOyTwfTR— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) July 2, 2020
The men and women of the @PeoriaPoliceAZ are mourning the loss of one of our own. Officer Jason Judd tragically lost his life today in the line of duty in a single vehicle motorcycle accident. Officer Judd is a 20+ year veteran of the Department #PeoriaPDAZ #PeoriaPoliceAZ pic.twitter.com/zD3diT0hyg— Peoria Police (AZ) (@PeoriaPoliceAZ) July 1, 2020