Salt River PD establishes memorial benefit fund for fallen officer’s family

Jan 9, 2019, 7:37 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2019, 2:49 pm
(Salt River Police Department photo)...
(Salt River Police Department photo)
(Salt River Police Department photo)

PHOENIX — The Salt River Police Department announced Wednesday night that it has established a memorial fund to benefit the family of an officer killed Tuesday.

Officer Clayton Townsend was fatally struck by a car while he was conducting a traffic stop on Loop 101.

He worked for Salt River Police for five years and left behind a wife and 10-month-old son.

A witness told authorities that the driver who struck Townsend was looking down at his phone and crossed two traffic lanes before the accident.

Jerry Sanstead, of Scottsdale, was jailed on suspicion of manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment.

Bond was set at $100,000 for Sanstead, who is self-employed.

According to a probable cause statement, he had been reading texts and using his phone’s voice-to-text feature to text his wife about evening plans.

Traffic was temporarily stopped on Interstate 10 on Wednesday night as law enforcement escorted Townsend’s body from the medical examiner’s office.

State flags were lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Wednesday to honor the officer.

Donations to the Clayton Townsend Benefit Memorial Fund can be made through Wells Fargo Bank, account number 3535835825.

A family member also set up a GoFundMe page for Townsend’s family with a $50,000 goal. According to the page, Townsend was a cancer survivor.

The 100 Club of Arizona hosted a fundraiser on Facebook and surpassed its $10,000 goal in a day. Donations can still be made by texting “Fallen” to 243725.

A candlelight vigil will be held at the Two Waters Building Courtyard at 10005 E. Osborn Rd. in Scottsdale at 5 p.m. Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Salt River PD establishes memorial benefit fund for fallen officer’s family