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Wrong-Way Driver Hits And Kills Off-Duty Mesa Police Officer

An off-duty police officer driving home from work and a wrong-way driver were killed early this morning in a head-on collision in Tempe. The accident took place on a ramp connecting the I-10 and the U.S. 60 freeways. Officer Carrick Cook, of the Department of Public Safety identified the officer who was killed as Brandon Mendoza—and says the wrong-way driver was a male in his 40s.

“We strongly suspect that impaired driving played a factor in this, and this is unfortunately why we’re out there doing what we do everyday to prevent that,” Cook said. “You know? That’s why it’s so important to us.”

An autopsy, and toxicology tests will be conducted. The suspect had traveled for 35 miles on parts of three freeways for a half-hour before the collision took place. At least a half-dozen DPS officers were involved in trying to stop him.