PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has ordered that flags at all state
office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Thursday in
honor of a U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in a rollover accident on Interstate
10 near Benson.
Alexander Irving Giannini, 24, was ejected from the patrol truck in the
accident Wednesday morning, according to the Arizona Department of Public
He died while being taken by helicopter to University Medical Center in Tucson,
Another Border Patrol agent, identified as Van Keith Harwigsen, was taken to
the same hospital for treatment of minor injuries and was expected to make a
Both agents were based out of the Willcox Station.
It remained unclear Thursday what duty the agents were performing while on the
highway. Border Patrol officials haven’t released any background information on
the two men.
The accident occurred around 7:40 a.m. about eight miles east of Benson when
the truck’s left rear tire failed when the tread separated from the tire, state
Department of Public Safety spokesman Raul Garcia said.
The truck rolled and wound up about 40 feet from the traffic lanes of I-10.
Giannini wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, authorities said.
Brewer’s office said flags at all state office building also will be lowered on
the day of Giannini’s funeral, which hasn’t been set.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske released a
statement saying, “It is difficult expressing our thoughts and appreciation for
their commitment and dedication to the mission knowing that whatever words we
draw upon simply will not do justice to the sacrifices they made. We ask that
the citizens of Arizona and the nation join us in thoughts and prayers for the
families of these brave individuals.”