Tim Huffman was a 14-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. (Source: Arizona Department of Public Safety)
DPS spokesman Bart Graves informs the media of the DPS officer's death Monday evening. (Source: CBS 5 News)
A DPS officers salutes fallen DPS officers at a memorial Monday. (Source: CBS 5 News)
DATELAND, AZ (CBS5/AP) -
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has made an arrest in connection with the death of a DPS officer on May 6.
DPS said 33-year-old Jorge Espinoza, of Yuma, was booked into the Yuma County Jail about 5:30 p.m. on one count of manslaughter, 14 counts of endangerment and seven counts of criminal damage.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves said 47-year-old Tim Huffman had been responding to a collision when he was rear-ended by a tanker truck while sitting in his patrol car.
Authorities said the driver of the tanker truck, Espinoza, was traveling from Yuma to Phoenix. He was not injured in the crash.
The collision happened Monday evening near the community of Dateland, about 65 miles east of Yuma, and came on a day the state was honoring fallen law enforcement officers.
Gov. Jan Brewer was speaking at the Arizona Peace Officers Memorial Service as Graves informed the media of the crash.
"Tragedies like this remind us that, for our men and women of the badge, no task is ever routine," Brewer said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. "No day is ever without peril. Individuals like Officer Huffman dedicate their entire lives to protecting ours, and for that, we owe them our eternal indebtedness."
"This comes at ... there's never a good time, this is horrific timing," a visibly shaken Graves told the media. "This comes on a day where we honor our fallen (DPS) officers, all 28 who have died in the line of duty. Tonight, as we speak, the governor is commemorating our officers' sacrifice, along with this officer's sacrifice."
The crash closed eastbound Interstate 8 at Avenue 36E about 37 miles east of Yuma, but the lanes were reopened soon after 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to Tom Herrmann of the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Graves said Huffman was a 14-year veteran of the state agency who was assigned to the southern Arizona bureau and worked his entire career in the Yuma district.
Huffman is the 29th DPS officer to lose his life in the line of duty.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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