Skip to comments.Shock, disbelief following Dever's death
Posted on 09/20/2012 5:36:51 AM PDT by SandRat
SIERRA VISTA Area officials have expressed sorrow and additional information has been released by the agency investigating the crash that resulted in the death of Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever on Tuesday.
Coconino County law enforcement was initially contacted about the accident at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday when a caller reported a single-vehicle rollover accident on Forest Service Road 109, about two miles north of White Horse Lake, which is about 20 miles southwest of Flagstaff.
The caller had been traveling behind the 2008 white, three-quarter ton Chevrolet pickup truck headed south on a dirt road that leads to White Horse Lake. The caller lost sight of the vehicle for a brief time, then reported seeing a cloud of dust, and as the vehicle came into view, it was clear the vehicle had rolled over and come to a rest upright on its wheels, a press release from the Coconino County Sheriffs Office states.
The caller advised there were no signs of life coming from the single occupant, later identified as Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.
Coconino sheriffs deputies, Williams Fire Department medical personnel and Life Line Medical Transport responded to the scene. Once there, medical personnel determined Dever was deceased. The initial investigation showed that, based on witness statements and physical evidence at the scene, it is believed that, for an unknown reason, Dever lost control of the pickup, causing it to leave the roadway, roll and then come to a rest in an upright position.
Officials from all levels of government and public service who have worked with the late sheriff have begun to comment on Devers death.
"Larry has been a leader for this county, this state and, indeed, this country on the issue of illegal immigration for many years. His calm, intelligent and common sense approach to this issue as well as his leadership of the Cochise County Sheriffs Office is his professional legacy," said Cochise County Supervisor Pat Call in an email statement. "His devotion to his family and friends is a legacy that is immeasurable. Our prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Nancy, and his family tonight. Larry was a friend and a trusted colleague to me. He will be missed by many - and he will be remembered."
Sierra Vista Mayor Rick Mueller said he was "stunned" by the news of Devers death.
"Its very shocking. His friendship, leadershipand in many cases with me, mentorship, when we had conversations about different things and how to proceedwill be missed," Mueller said this morning. "Ive known Larry since before he ran for office the first time. It will be a serious loss for the entire community as well, of course, for his family. Hes that rare individual that was the right man for the right job at the right time. i cant think of anyone in county government that I would want to emulate more than Larry. My heart goes out to his family, the sheriffs office, and all of Cochise County."
Sierra Vista Police Chief Ken Kimmel praised Devers efforts to bring attention to the issues along Arizonas border with Mexico.
"His loss, obviously, has an immediate impact on Cochise County, but theres going to be a long term impact on a national level. I dont think theres another sheriff in this country that had the passion that Larry did on border issues. He just worked tirelessly on that," Kimmel said. "I consider him, really, the patriarch of law enforcement in Cochise County. I know Jimmy Judds shoes would be hard to fill, but I think Larrys come the closest to doing that of anybody Ive known."
All flags flying at state buildings have been ordered to be lowered to half-staff until sunset today, said Governor Jan Brewer, in a statement released just before 11 a.m.
"I had known Sheriff Dever for well over a decade, stretching back to my days with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. Ill remember him in his cowboy hat soft-spoken and unfailingly polite, but firm in his beliefs and steady in his service to the law. In the truest sense, Sheriff Dever was a Western lawman and country gentleman," Brewer said.
U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl released a joint statement this morning.
"We were deeply saddened to learn about the sudden death of our friend Larry Dever. We spent a great deal of time at the border with Sheriff Dever and know first-hand his long commitment to keeping the people of our state safe. We also admired Sheriff Devers strength to speak out when he believed more needed to be done to secure our border. Sheriff Dever was not only a leader in Cochise County, but also across Arizona and throughout the law enforcement community. Sheriff Dever was a man of honor, integrity, and selfless service to the State of Arizona. He will be greatly missed."
According to a statement from the Cochise County Sheriffs Department, "the Dever family is aware that many will want to make contact with the family to express their condolences, however, they request that no calls be made to them at their personal residence. The Cochise County Sheriffs Office will relay all messages to the family directly. God bless the Dever family."
Dever was running unopposed in this falls election for what would have been his fifth term as sheriff. It is unclear at this time what his sudden passing will mean in the electoral process.
The sheriff was more than a local law enforcement official as he took the lead on the national issue of illegal immigration and its impacts not only on Cochise County, but the state of Arizona and nation. Dever testified before Congress on several occasions regarding these issues and as stated on the countys website he had assumed a leadership role in attempting to bring resolution to related local concerns.
He was on the National Sheriff Associations Board of Directors and was elected because of his strong leadership role in Border Law Enforcement Issues.
The sheriff is a native of Cochise County. He was born and raised in St. David.
He and his wife, Nancy, are the parents of six sons. The oldest serves as a major in the U.S. Army, three work for Arizona law enforcement agencies, one as a firefighter, and one attends college. The sheriff died just four days after his 86-year-old mother, Annie Mae Dever, died of cancer.
According to the countys website, Dever was a 34-year Cochise County law enforcement veteran. He was elected to his first term as sheriff in 1996, following a 20-year career working in the trenches of Cochise County law enforcement. Entering the profession as a deputy in 1976, Dever rose through the ranks from sergeant to major before successfully seeking political office and being re-elected to a fourth term in 2008.
so okay who is this mysterious caller and was he involved in causing the “accident”
Why didn’t you edit out the commercials?
That’s for Coconino County law enforcement to find out.
“so okay who is this mysterious caller and was he involved in causing the accident
How convenient to have an (almost) eyewitness to report no foul play involved in this “accident”.
Why is his death “mysterious”, other than his cause of death is still unknown.
Based on his age and the lack of another vehicle involved, a medical condition (ex: massive heart attack) while driving would have produced similar results.
Since the ME’s preliminary investigation didn’t note any gunshot and the lack of any major LE response (manhunt, etc.), it appears that initially, that this could be the conclusion.
Regardless of the cause, prayers to his family.
Odd that a rollover accident would kill him or even seriously injure him if he’d been wearing a seat belt. This article is really bad in that it doesn’t even answer that little questiion. There really does need to be an autopsy. He might have suffered a stroke or other serious cardiovascular event that caused him to lose consciousness and control of the vehicle. It really suprises me that a rural sheiff, driving a SUV on a rough rural road, would not always wear his seat belt. All in all, a mysterious death that deserves a full investigation.
It sounds like the passenger compartment was intact. Every rollover I’ve seen where the people inside were belted, they’ve been uninjured. Of course, if Dever was going at 85 or so, he might have broken his neck even belted in.
glad you are satisfied, bud, but I am not
Didn’t say I was satisfied, “bud”.....
Still curious when any top law enforcement official dies.....
Based on the facts available and the TOTAL lack of a major LE response, reading the tea leaves...
We will know more after the corner’s report...If it was natural causes, it should be released quickly....
It’s coroner not corner, and “lack of LE response” means an inside job to me, not lack of evidence, where is your critical thinking
just go around saying lalalalala the world is my oyster, ok?
Quick...check under you bed.....you may find your paranoia...
Or maybe it’s just your critical thinking hiding there.....
Can you read or are you just unable to process my response?
Lizard people are real too.
just unable to process your response
Sheriff Dever’s 85 year old mother died four days before Larry. He was not ‘84’ ... sometimes I wonder where poster’s get their data!
It sounds like the passenger compartment was intact. Every rollover Ive seen where the people inside were belted, theyve been uninjured. Of course, if Dever was going at 85 or so, he might have broken his neck even belted in.
a veteran sheriff, going 85 on a dirt road? unlikely.
i’d normally ignore this.
but what makes it smell worse... is i noticed that IMMEDIATELY there were many “preemptive” comments about “conspiracy theory wackos”.
and given his status, there is certainly a motive.
FS109 is dirt and gravel.
So he wasn’t driving real fast. Say 45, 50 tops? I have not seen all that many roll overs, but NONE of them at that speed where the occupants were belted in had any significant injuries.
Does the accident report say no seatbelt? Or the autopsy show a medical cause of death - heart attack, stroke?
Tampering with the vehicle or staging an accident doesn’t seem like an efficient way to kill a fit man - poison is iffy and he’d be reporting symptoms not driving along as usual.
My uncle died of a heart attack just a few months after his mother died - stress, grief, anxiety over one’s own mortality.