| News |

Sheriff Larry Dever Didn't Have Seat Belt On When His Truck was Found; Feds Check Forest Road for Problems

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever wasn't wearing a seat belt when his body was found on Tuesday night by a deputy following Dever's fatal rollover crash near Williams.

Dever was killed when his 2008 three-quarter-ton Chevrolet pickup slid off a forest road and rolled just after sunset. He'd been on his way to a hunting trip with family members.

Gerry Blair, spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, tells New Times that a deputy on scene soon after the crash noticed that Dever didn't have his seat belt on.

-See Also: Speed a Possible Factor in Sheriff Dever's Crash; Beer Found at Crash Site, But No Indication Dever had Been Drinking

-See Also: Larry Dever is a Real Arizona Sheriff

That doesn't necessarily mean Dever wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, Blair adds. It could have popped open at some point during the incident or just after, he says. The medical examiner's office will determine whether Dever's body has any bruising that could indicate he actually was restrained as the vehicle rolled.

As our last blog post on the details of Dever's crash mentioned, beer cans were found at the scene, but were believed to have come from a cooler in Dever's pickup bed. The deputy at the scene didn't smell any odor of alcohol coming from the cab or see any open containers, Blair reported previously.

So far, the Coconino Sheriff's Office is only saying Dever lost control of the truck for an unknown reason. Blair told us on Wednesday that "one school of thought" by investigators is that Dever had been going too fast.

The investigation into why the crash happened is pending.

Dever had been driving southbound on Forest Road 109, about two miles north of White Horse Lake, in the Kaibab National Forest. Although some initial media reports stated that the road had been the site of previous car crashes, Kaibab spokeswoman Jackie Banks says she's not aware of any in recent memory.

Roads on national forest land are still governed by Arizona traffic laws, Banks explains. That means drivers must always need to be traveling at a reasonable and prudent speed for the conditions. Some forest roads have speed limit signs, but not FS109.

Forest Service engineers inspected the road near the crash site yesterday and will report back on any factors that might be a concern, Banks says.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.