On the same day that Department of Public Safety officers and Governor Jan Brewer attended memorials for law enforcement officials who have lost their lives in Arizona, another name was added to the list.
Officer Tim Huffman, 47, died as a result of a traffic accident Monday night.
Director of Arizona’s Department of Public Safety Robert Halliday flew to Yuma Tuesday afternoon to learn more about the incident that took the life of the 14-year law enforcement veteran.
According to police reports Huffman was at the scene of an accident on Interstate 8 near Wellton Monday night when a tanker truck slammed into the back of a patrol vehicle, which then hit several other cars, including the one Huffman was sitting in, killing him instantly.
D.P.S media relations director Bart Graves said the driver of the truck that subsequently killed Huffman is 33-year-old Jorge Espinoza.
It is still not known why he did not see the accident or the officers already at the scene who were trying to slow him down.
Police say Espinoza, a Yuma native, has been very cooperative with investigators so far, and has not been arrested or formally charged.
Meanwhile, those in law enforcement and the community who knew Huffman have heavy hearts.
"It's not easy, you know, it's hard. It hits closer to home because it's the guy I worked with for over two years. I'm going to miss Tim," said Officer David Duran, who worked the same shift with Huffman for about three years.
"The pain that is being felt right now throughout the entire law enforcement community right now is significant," Halliday said.
Tuesday, Gov. Jan Brewer ordered all flags to be flown at half staff.
In a statement, she said, "Individuals like Officer Huffman dedicate their entire lives to protecting ours, and for that, we owe them our eternal indebtedness. Please join me in holding Officer Huffman, his family and his brothers and sisters on the force forever in prayer and memory."
Those in the community also expressed their sadness over losing an officer, who they admired.
"I could not stop crying. I couldn't believe it," said Reah Burnett, who works at a Chevron in Tacna that Huffman frequented daily. "It was too hard to believe."
Burnett said she and her co-workers grew attached to Huffman's friendly personality.
"He would always come in, get a newspaper, get a soda, talk with us, make us laugh--it was an everyday thing. He was well appreciated out here," Burnett said.
Those who knew Huffman said they will remember his dedication and friendliness.
"And his smile--I will always remember his smile," Burnett added.
According to officials, Huffman was not married but had family out of state.
Officer Duran said Huffman frequently talked about his nieces and nephews proudly.
Plans for a memorial are in the works, but the date has not yet been determined.