A Salt River (AZ) Police officer was killed Tuesday evening when he was struck by a vehicle at a traffic stop on Loop 101.
The officer has been identified by Salt River Police Chief Karl G. Auerbach as Clayton Townsend, a five-year veteran of the department who left behind a wife and a 10-month-old child.
Arizona DPS Captain Jesse Galvez told Fox 10 that Officer Townsend made a traffic stop on the northbound lanes of Loop 101, just south of the McDowell off-ramp. As the officer was approaching the car he stopped, Townsend was struck by another northbound car. That same car then struck the car Officer Townsend stopped.
Jerry Sanstead, 40 was arrested on charges of manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and endangerment, AZDPS said.
“During the investigation on scene, the driver of the black passenger car (reportedly Sanstead) told AZDPS detectives he had been texting during the time his vehicle entered the right-side emergency lane and struck the police officer,” officials said in a news release.