1/11/2013 11:17:00 PM Community mourns Sheriff's Lt., son killed in crash
Lt. Wayne Loughrige
Memorial Services for
Lt. Wayne Loughridge & Joseph Arter
Monday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.
Yavapai College Performance Hall
Lisa Irish Special to the Tribune
Shocked and saddened residents and friends from a large portion of Northern Arizona are this week mourning the loss of a respected Yavapai County Sheriff's Lieutenant and his son who died in a crash this past Friday afternoon on Highway 69.
Lt. Wayne Loughrige, 51, and his son Joseph Arter, 17, died late Friday afternoon in a single-vehicle collision on southbound State Highway 69 at milepost 277 between Humboldt and Poland Junction roads in the Dewey- Humboldt area.
Department of Public Safety officials said a 2005 Dodge Durango driven by Wayne, who was off-duty, drifted into the center median, overcorrected, and lost control before colliding with an embankment along the right side of the roadway.
Both Loughrige and Arter, who was a passenger in the car, suffered severe trauma from the collision and were pronounced dead at the scene, said
Dwight D'Evelyn, YCSO spokesman.
Loughrige and Arter had been wearing their seatbelts and there is no indication that vehicle speed or driver impairment were factors in the accident, D'Evelyn added.
"YCSO personnel are devastated by this tragic death involving Wayne and his son," D'Evelyn said. He said Sheriff Scott Mascher met with YCSO employees throughout the afternoon and evening to brief them about the tragedy.
Two CYFD engines, two Mayer Fire engines, two Life Line Ambulances, and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers responded to the scene, Central Yavapai Fire District Battalion Chief Jeff Polacek said.
DPS is handling the accident investigation.
"DPS understands the sensitivity of these types of cases," said DPS Officer Carrick R. Cook, public information officer. "We're very diligent and deliberate in our investigation so the family can have all the details that led up to the deaths of their loved ones."
Mascher expressed his appreciation for the concern and care of DPS officers who handled the accident scene and reporting, D'Evelyn said.
Loughrige began his career with YCSO as a detention officer in 1991, was promoted to certified deputy, and became patrol sergeant in 1998.
Loughrige was a 21-year law enforcement veteran. He married his wife Kristine in October 2012.
Loughrige's current assignment as Northern Area Command Patrol Commander was the result of a 2007 promotion. His office was located at the Williamson Valley sub-station.His area of command included unincorporated areas of Prescott Valley and Prescott, Chino Valley, Paulden, Ashfork and Seligman.
An outpouring of grief and comments from community members since the accident have testified to the high regard residents and co-workers had for Loughridge, and for his son, a Prescott High School wrestling team member.
Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill Fessler said he has worked with Loughridge for many years.
"He has always been pleasant to work with. He was very professional in all in my encounters with him," Fessler said. "Everyone has spoken very highly of him. It's a tragedy that we lost him in our law enforcement community and that his family is so affected, with both him and his son killed in this horrific crash."
Memorial services for Lt. Loughridge and Joseph Arter will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, at the Yavapai College Performance Hall, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.