On The Highway We've Got Your Back

ResponderSafety.com is brought to you by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. ResponderSafety.com is developed and supported by public safety leaders nationwide. Click here to read Mission...
ResponderSafety.com is brought to you by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. ResponderSafety.com is developed and supported by public safety leaders nationwide. Click here to read Mission...

LODD News

Arizona: Officer dies after being hit by vehicle in West Phoenix

Thursday, March 21, 2019
A Phoenix police officer died after being hit by a vehicle in west Phoenix early Thursday morning, Police Chief Jeri Williams confirmed.

The officer is 51-year-old Paul Rutherford, Phoenix police officials say. He leaves behind a wife and two adult children.

According to Sergeant Tommy Thompson, Rutherford was a 23-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department.

"Our community has a reason to mourn because, once again, one of our officers was killed in the line of duty," Williams said during a Thursday press conference. "This is just another example of the inherent dangers that our officers face each and every day, and yet they put that full uniform on and go out and serve our community."

Rutherford was one of several officers investigating a crash near 75th Avenue and Indian School Road that happened early Thursday morning. While out at the scene, police say Rutherford responded to a "priority radio call" across the street.

Rutherford was crossing Indian School to respond to that new incident when he was hit by a 2015 Ford Expedition shortly before 8:30 a.m.

"He was telling me something and I couldn't hear him, but then I kneeled down and he told me, 'Wife,' and that's all I heard after he stopped talking," said Alma Pineda, who was involved in the crash that Rutherford was assisting. "He stopped talking and then the other officers came and gave him CPR. He was a really nice man for those few moments I had to talk with him and God bless his family."

Phoenix police officials say Rutherford was transported to an area hospital in extremely critical condition where he was later pronounced dead.

The driver of the vehicle, identified only as a 40-year-old woman, stayed on scene and cooperated with police. According to Sgt. Tommy Thompson, officers determined she was not impaired.

Rutherford's death marks the 39th line of duty death in the Phoenix Police Department's history.

 

Breaking News Alerts

Partners in Progress

View all of our partners