Phoenix police officer dies after being struck by SUV

March 21, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — A veteran Phoenix police officer died Thursday after being struck by a vehicle while he was investigating an accident scene, authorities said.

Officer Paul Rutherford was struck as he was crossing a street on foot to respond to a priority radio call, police said.

Rutherford, 51, was transported to a hospital in extremely critical condition and later died of his injuries, said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a police spokesman.

A 40-year-old woman who was driving the SUV that struck Rutherford remained at the scene and police said she wasn’t impaired.

The woman’s name wasn’t immediately released and police said the fatal accident was under investigation.

Police Chief Jeri Williams said Phoenix “has a reason to mourn because once again one of our officers was killed in the line of duty.”

Rutherford had been a policeman for nearly 23 years, according to police officials. He is survived by a wife and two adult children.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Friday to honor Rutherford.

Ducey’s office said the governor also will order flags to be lowered on the day of Rutherford’s funeral, which hasn’t been set yet.

In a statement, Ducey said Rutherford’s death “provides yet another example of the dangers faced by law enforcement every day to keep us and our communities safe.”