Officer involved in deadly pedestrian crash, victim identified

Officer involved in deadly pedestrian crash, victim identified

CREATED Aug 20, 2012

Reporter: Claire Doan
Web Producer: Sara Wright, Ina Ronquillo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson Police have identified the pedestrian killed in the officer involved collision this morning as 34-year-old Steven Duane Rodgers.

Sgt. Chris Widmer with Tucson Police tells KGUN9 that on August 20 they received a 9-1-1 call regarding a fight involving a weapon. Officer Chris Fenoglio responded to the scene to assist.

Fenoglio was traveling eastbound on Speedway Boulevard when he struck Rodgers just west of Santa Rosa Avenue.  He requested medical assistance for the pedestrian as well as additional patrol units.

Rodgers was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Detectives have determined that Fenoglio was traveling eastbound on Speedway Boulevard in the median lane with his emergency lights and siren activated. It is unclear, however, how long the lights and sirens were on before the car struck Rodgers.

Rodgers was wearing dark clothing, crossed Speedway Boulevard from south to north and was not in a marked crosswalk when he was struck, according to Widmer.

Widmer told 9 On Your Side that traffic detectives will not release the officer’s speed until the investigation is over. Reporter Claire Doan asked if there’s a maximum speed at which officers are allowed to drive.

“There’s no minimum or maximum speed. The speed that we travel at times is based on traffic conditions, the type of call we’re responding to and the weather conditions,” Widmer answered.

Pedestrians whom KGUN9 spoke to had mixed reactions.

“I was really surprised when I heard that. You think a pedestrian would yield to sirens,” said Alex Black.

“Human beings get the right of way. That’s what I was always taught. Slam on your brakes even if it’s their fault,” said Jay Reyes. “The cop may have been speeding toward some place else, but in the process in killed someone along the way.”

Fenoglio is a 13-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department and a member of the Service Dog Unit.

As a standard procedure in all officer involved traffic fatalities, the Traffic Investigation Unit will conduct the criminal investigation into the incident.

The Office of Internal Affairs will also conduct a separate and parallel administrative investigation to examine the actions.