Benson, AZ – Tucson Police Department (TPD) Sergeant Timothy Froebe died in an off-duty ultralight plane crash on Sept. 4.
The 59-year-old sergeant had been working to refurbish the single-person aircraft at the Benson airport, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Witnesses said the plane seemed to be having mechanical issues just prior to the crash, and that they could hear the throttle going up and down before it impacted the ground at approximately 7:50 a.m.
Sgt. Froebe was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It is with much sadness that the Tucson Police Department announces the death of Sgt. Froebe,” the TPD said in a news release, according to KOLD. “The Tucson Police Department extends our deepest condolences to Sergeant Froebe’s family and friends…He was loved and respected by so many at TPD and he will be deeply missed.”
Sgt. Froebe served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1978 until 2012, and retired at the rank of colonel, KOLD reported.
He was hired as a TPD patrol officer in January of 1995, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2007.
Sgt. Froebe was the supervisor of the department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit at the time of his death.
He received a multitude of awards during his 24-year law enforcement career, including the Chief’s Citation of Excellence, the Medal of Distinguished Service, and the Medal of Merit.
In 2012, he and two other TPD officers were recognized at the Tucson Police Foundation Unsung Heroes Celebration for their outstanding service to the community, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
They were nominated for the honor by their fellow law enforcement officers.
Sgt. Froebe helped the TPD’s honor guard to flourish, and coordinated over 240 events involving the unit.
He leaves behind his wife and four children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tucson Police Department Sergeant Timothy Froebe, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.