Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever died Tuesday following a one-vehicle accident near the northern Arizona town of Williams. He was 60 years old.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputies and medical personnel from the Williams Fire Department and Life Line Medical Transport responded to the collision location. Upon arrival they determined the victim, identified as Dever, was deceased.
The reporting party said he was following a 2008 three quarter ton Chevrolet Pickup Truck white in color south bound on the dirt road that leads to White Horse Lake. He said for a brief time he lost sight of the vehicle. The reporting party saw what appeared to be a cloud of dust, and as he came closer he learned that the vehicle had rolled over and was resting on its wheels.
At this time based on the reporting party’s statements and physical evidence at the scene, Deputies believe that for an unknown reason Dever lost control of the vehicle causing it to leave the roadway, roll over and come to rest on the wheels.
Dever reportedly had traveled to the area with the intent of meeting several family members in the area of White Horse Lake for a camping and hunting trip.
The investigation is being continued by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“The Dever family is aware that many will want to make contact with the family to express their condolences, however, they request that no calls be made to them at their personal residence,” Carol Capas, spokesperson for the CCSO said. “The Cochise County Sheriff's Office will relay all messages to the family directly. God bless the Dever family.”
Dever, a Cochise County native who was born and raised in St. David, was a 34-year Cochise County law enforcement veteran. He was first elected sheriff in 1996 and was running unopposed in this fall’s election for what would have been his fifth term as sheriff. It is unclear what his sudden passing will mean in the upcoming electoral process.
Congressman Jeff Flake who was just recently endorsed by Dever in Douglas, said “today Arizonans mourn the unexpected loss of Sheriff Larry Dever. Larry was a true leader among lawmen.”
Senator John Kyle said in a statement his heart goes out to his family and to all the folks in Cochise County.
“He was a real public servant,” the senator said. “I spent a lot of time with him on the border and I learned a great deal from him. … He will be missed.”
Dever is survived by his wife Nancy and his sons; the oldest is a major in the U.S. Army, three work for Arizona law enforcement agencies, one is a firefighter and one attends college.
The sheriff died just four days after his 86-year-old mother, Annie Mae Dever, died of cancer. Her funeral is this Saturday in St. David.