Tempe Police Officer Killed in Motorcycle Accident

A police officer driving his motorcycle was killed this week in Phoenix.A police officer was killed in an apparent automobile accident in southeast Phoenix this week, according to reports.

A spokesperson for the Phoenix Police Department affirmed the alleged victim was a member of the Tempe Police Department, and that he was off-duty at the time of the reported incident.

Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos said Friday that Scott J. Saffell was riding his motorcycle southbound on 48th Street on Thursday, October 6, when a vehicle reportedly hit him.

Police reports indicate Martos was struck when the operator of the minivan, who is believed to be a 24-year-old woman, apparently failed to yield for a left turn. The alleged accident occurred around 5 p.m. at 48th Street and Western, which is located nearby Elliot Road.

KTAR News reports that Martos asserted Saffell was wearing a helmet when the car reportedly hit him. Martos further noted that Saffell had served as a patrol officer for the Tempe Police Department over the past three years, having been hired by the organization in 2008.

The Phoenix Police Department released a statement about Saffell, affirming “he will be greatly missed by family, friends, peers and the community which he proudly served.”

Police deputies are continuing to investigate the alleged motor vehicle accident, though they did not comment as to whether alcohol or any other substance played a role. Martos affirmed the driver of the minivan was not injured during the collision.

There were 807 fatalities in Arizona in 2009 as a result of traffic collisions, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That figure, while still high, represented a drop from the 938 deaths recorded in 2008.