PHOENIX — An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer who was injured using his patrol SUV to halt a wrong-way driver said he would not hesitate to do the same thing again.
Some called Jeremy Barr a hero after he stopped the driver, especially considering he had previously used his vehicle to stop two other wrong-way drivers.
“I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said. “I’m just a guy who was on duty.”
Barr was working near Cordes Junction in August when he was alerted to a wrong-way driver in the southbound lanes of Interstate 17.
After slowing traffic, Barr sped off in search of the wrong-way driver, located him and smashed his patrol car into the front of the driver’s truck, halting him in place.
“I decided I had to take him out,” Barr said Wednesday, his first time speaking to media since the crash. “There was no way I could let him get past.”
The wrong-way driver, 48-year-old Timothy Dwayne Harjo of Wickenburg, suffered a minor collision in the crash and was charged with aggravated assault, endangerment and DUI. Barr sustained injuries to his torso.
“I’m pretty miserable from the treatment I’m going through — physical therapy several times a week,” he said. “The damage in my spine is tough to deal with.”
Barr said he was “overwhelmed” by the support offered to him by other officers statewide.
- DPS to conduct zero-tolerance speed crackdown in Phoenix
- New York City terror suspect received speeding ticket in Arizona
- DPS: Two arrested after Arizona troopers shot at during chase
- Former Mesa officer charged with fatally shooting man to start trial
- Arizona DPS head talks challenges in recruiting young, diverse applicants