Chandler officers killed in separate wrecks

The Chandler police force is reeling from the deaths of two officers only three days apart in unrelated traffic collisions…

(on-duty) City of Chandler Police “Officer David Payne, 37, was sitting on his police motorcycle at a red light at about 12:40 a.m. 10/31/2014 Friday when a car rear-ended him at the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Pennington Drive.” Causing his death. “Police arrested Tempe resident Brian Yazzie, 31, on suspicion of manslaughter and hit-and-run for his role in the collision”. Oh yeah,  plus his license was suspended in (and, presumably, since) 2010. — azcentral

Yazzie has since plead not guilty CR2014152207. A Brian Yazzie DOB 2/83 (I don’t have any way to tell if this is the same Brian Yazzie) has a string of court incidents, including an extreme DUI from 2010 CR-2010000602 in Flagstaff muni. The driver eventually pleaded guilty, see here for sentencing outcome.

Earlier this week

(off-duty) Chanlder police officer Bryant Holmes was killed while on his way to work. Investigators said the driver that hit him ran a red light and are recommending 28-672 charges (a minor misdemeanor). 10/28/2014 ~ 2:30pm.

Gilbert police are recommending that an SUV driver be charged for a collision that resulted in the death of a Chandler police officer on his way to work Tuesday, according to a police spokesman. A preliminary investigation concluded that Austin Beasley, 20, ran a red light and hit Holmes’ motorcycle in a Gilbert intersection, a police spokesman said Wednesday. Beasley may face a charge of one count of causing serious physical injury or death by a moving violation, Gilbert police spokesman Sgt. Jesse Sanger said. Holmes, 34, was going northbound on Recker Road and went to turn left onto Baseline Road when he was struck by a Jeep Cherokee headed west on Baseline, Sanger said. Everyone involved in the fatality cooperated with police… — azcentral

An azrepublic follow up story published 1/1/2015 indicates Beasley will be cited for running a red light, and charged with 28-672 (a minor, criminal charge) in Gilbert muni. “Beasley, 20, told police that he was driving to a convenience store to get a drink when he accidentally dropped some change out of his pocket. He looked down toward the floorboard of his Jeep Cherokee and, seconds later , collided with (the motorcycle)…”

Officer Holmes’ case was mentioned in Families of slain Arizona officers wait for federal benefit, noting that a $340,000 federal benefit to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty isn’t available under federal benefit rules. Federal rules do not include driving to or from work to be “line of duty”.

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