| News |

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

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.

As a resident and sheriff of a rural Arizona county, driving on dirt roads was second nature to Larry Dever.

So how did the law enforcement professional end up rolling his three-quarter-ton pickup on one?

One possibility: Excessive speed.

"That certainly is one school of thought," says Gerry Blair, spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

Dever had been traveling southbound on Forest Road 109 in the Kaibab National Forest, about two miles north of White Horse Lake, on his way to a hunting and camping trip with family members. It was about 6:30 p.m. — just after sunset.

For unknown reasons, Dever lost control of his 2008 three-quarter-ton Chevrolet pickup and rolled it. A witness told authorities Dever appeared deceased immediately after the crash.

No information is readily available about whether Dever had been wearing a seat belt, Blair says.

Online maps show that in that general area, FS 109 is relatively straight. However, Blair, who was at the crash scene this afternoon, says the road goes into a "slight-to-moderate curve," and was a "bit washboardy" near where Dever lost control.

Blair wasn't sure if any speed limit applied to the road, adding that he saw no signs on his drive to the site.

As anyone with back-roads experience knows, washboards — those ridges formed on heavily used dirt roads — can cause a loss of traction.

Beer bottles and cans were strewn around the crash site, Blair says, but they appeared to have come from a cooler that had been in the bed of Dever's truck.

A deputy who investigated the crash initially didn't find or smell anything in the cab that would have indicated Dever had an open container while driving or had been drinking, he says.

A toxicology report won't be available for a while, but investigators hope to release more information about the incident in a couple of days, Blair 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.