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Arizona officer dies after driver crashes into patrol car with sirens on, police chief says

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson police officer has died after a driver crashed into his patrol car while he was responding to a call with his siren on and lights flashing, authorities said Monday.

Tucson police said Officer Adam Buckner, 31, had the right of way before the collision Sunday night at an intersection not far from the University of Arizona campus. He died from his injuries after being rushed to a hospital.

Buckner was going through an intersection on a green light when a sedan making a turn failed to yield to his marked patrol car’s sirens and lights, Tucson Police Chief Chad Kasmar said at a news conference Monday.

Police said Buckner was responding to a report of a man breaking windows at an occupied business and that the force of the collision sent the officer’s patrol vehicle into a traffic signal pole.

Community members and other officers gave first aid and CPR to Buckner before paramedics took him to Banner-University Medical Center.

The other driver, whose identity wasn’t immediately released, was left with minor injuries and there was no sign of impairment, Kasmar said.

He said no citations were issued to the other driver, pending an investigation.

Buckner is the ninth Tucson officer to die in the line of duty in the department’s history, according to officials.

“We all know the risk of our profession,” said Kasmar, who choked up several times during the news conference and did not take any questions from reporters.

He called Buckner “a friend of many and a true law enforcement professional.”

Kasmar said Buckner was recently highlighted as the Midtown Division’s Officer of the Month and was assigned to squad nine as their lead police officer.

Buckner began his law enforcement career with the New Orleans Police Department in 2017 and later became a detective.

He joined the Tucson Police Department in November 2021 and is survived by his wife, mother, one sister and three brothers.