UPDATE: Erik Hite Foundation accepting donations for Tucson police officer who lost leg in crash

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:24 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2023 at 12:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The Tucson police officer who was seriously injured in a crash early Thursday morning had his lower leg amputated and still faces a long recovery, officials said.

The Tucson Police Department said the officer is still in critical condition but is stable now. The TPD said the officer was not seated in his vehicle at the time of the accident.

“The officer remains under the close observation of the incredible staff at Banner UMC. He is in good spirits and has expressed his gratitude for all the support he has received,” the TPD said in a release. “(We are) grateful for every one who assisted in lifesaving efforts: from the officers on scene who applied the tourniquets, to the Public Safety Communications Department who coordinated the prompt response by Tucson Fire, to TFD Station 8 personnel who performed advanced life support measures and quickly transported him to the hospital, and to Banner UMC staff for their emergency care.”

The Erik Hite Foundation is raising money to help provide for his long-term recovery and care. You can help by donating at the Erik Hite Foundation website.

The TPD said those efforts saved the officer’s life. The officer, who has not been identified, has been with the department since October 2021.

The officer was responding to a hit-and-run pedestrian accident near Glenn Street and Stone Avenue when he was hit by a different driver.

Edward Esquibel Jr.
Edward Esquibel Jr.(Tucson Police Department)

The driver who allegedly hit the officer is 42-year-old Edward Esquibel Jr. He has been arrested on charges of DUI, aggravated assault, felony endangerment and felony criminal damage.

According to records from Tucson City Court, Esquibel has a history of moving violations.

  • In 2005, he was cited for speeding, no insurance, driving with a suspended license, and failure to appear.
  • In 2017, he was cited for speeding and driving without a license.
  • In 2019, he was cited for driving without a license.