ARIZONA NEWS

2 firefighters identified in ambulance crash that left 1 dead

Apr 10, 2022, 12:46 PM | Updated: 1:40 pm

PHOENIX — One Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community firefighter was killed and a second critically injured when their ambulance collided with a tractor-trailer rig on Friday, authorities said.

The firefighters were identified as Brendon Bessee and Tyler Packer. Bessee, the driver of the vehicle, was killed and Packer was critically injured in the wreck on State Route 87 on the tribe’s reservation on the east side of metro Phoenix, tribal President Martin Harvier said in a statement Saturday.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said the driver of the tractor-trailer rig, who was identified only as a woman, had minor injuries and that the wreck occurred after the ambulance turned onto the highway while responding to a non-emergency call.

Authorities were not able to determine whether the sirens or lights on the ambulance were on.

Cause of the crash was under investigation, DPS said.

Harvier said Bessee and Packer were recent transfers to the tribal fire department.

“Prayers are needed for the Salt River Fire Department as they navigate through this very difficult time, losing one of their own and thinking about their brother in the hospital,” Harvier said.

Outside agencies were helping to answer emergency calls on the reservation, Harvier said.

A procession Saturday evening took Bessee home to Globe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2 firefighters identified in ambulance crash that left 1 dead