Trucker charged with second-degree murder in accident that killed Arizona trooper

The tanker truck driver involved in a collision that killed an Arizona highway patrol officer on Interstate 8 in Yuma on May 6 was charged with 19 felony offenses, including one count of second-degree murder, 13 counts of endangerment and five counts of criminal damage.

Officer Tim Huffman was killed when his patrol vehicle was struck by a truck reportedly driven by Jorge Espinoza, 33, of Yuma, at milepost 40 on I-8. At the time of the crash, Huffman was inside his vehicle writing a report on an injury collision that he and two other DPS officers were investigating on eastbound I-8, according to the Yuma Sun.

Highway patrol officers were at the scene of an injury accident and had closed one lane of the highway to transport those injured. One officer parked his patrol car with emergency lights flashing in the closed lane. Huffman had parked a few feet away on the shoulder to do paperwork.

Espinoza, hauling an empty tank trailer in the lane that was closed ahead, allegedly failed to change lanes despite the flashing lights and reported attempts by an officer to get his attention.

The tanker truck slammed into the DPS vehicle parked in the closed lane, which in turn struck Huffman’s vehicle, DPS reported. The force of the impact killed Huffman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to DPS, the tanker also slammed into a pickup truck belonging to the fire department, which was pushed into an unoccupied DPS patrol vehicle. That patrol vehicle then struck the rear of another parked fire department truck.

Espinoza was not injured in the crash.

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