Longtime Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever died in a one-vehicle crash on Sept. 18 in northern Arizona. The crash occurred on an unpaved Forest Service road near Williams. The sheriff’s death occurred four days after his mother died.
Dever, 60, was reportedly headed to a family gathering where he was to join two of his six sons for a hunting trip. He was alone and was driving a 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck about two miles north of White Horse Lake when the truck left the road and rolled at least once and ended upright. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities investigating the crash said there were no signs Dever had been drinking or was impaired. It is yet unknown if he was wearing a seatbelt.
Dever, a Republican, was with the Cochise Sheriff’s Office for 34 Years. He was elected sheriff in 1996 and although he was up for reelection, he faced no opposition in the primary or general elections.
The sheriff was in the national spotlight in the last couple of years because of his strong support for Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law, SB1070. He is considered to have played a key role in it being passed by the Arizona Legislature. Dever was also greatly concerned with drug smuggling. Cochise County is on the U.S.-Mexican border and is a major drug smuggling corridor.
He was born and raised in St. David in Cochise County. His wife, Nancy, six sons and 11 grandchildren survive him. His mother, Annie Mae Dever, 86, died of cancer only four days earlier.