My father, AZ DPS officer Juan N. Cruz Badge #3111, was killed by a drunk driver while investigating a prior DUI crash on December 9, 1998. Flares and several patrol cars with their lights on were blocking traffic as he was sitting in his patrol cruiser finalizing paperwork and discussing the detail with a colleague. A drunk driver celebrating her 21st birthday barreled through the flares and blockade, hitting my father’s car and causing an instant explosion trapping him inside. It was 20 yrs. ago yesterday and I feel the loss just as much today as I did then…I miss him and love him always.
— Cynthia Cruz-Duarte
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