Van tore through utility pole
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Police are on the lookout for Brady Lynn Huffman, 29, of Safford, but then again he was already wanted by law enforcement before allegedly crashing an acquaintance’s van through a utility pole while high on methamphetamine and fleeing the scene.
Huffman was fingered as the driver of a van that crashed through a utility pole in the area of 8th Avenue and Kings Court on Feb. 8 at about 1:24 p.m. The van ended up resting in the yard of a residence at 1701 S. 8th Avenue with substantial front-end damage. The utility pole was found broken in two, falling on a chainlink fence at a residence at 1607 S. 8th Avenue. The electricity was down in the immediate area around the broken utility pole for about an hour as crews repaired it.
The passenger of the van, Donna Mary Benson, 22, of Safford, allegedly told officers that she was in the back seat of the van behind the driver charging her phone when the collision occurred. Benson said she had just met Huffman the previous night and had to be shown a booking photo to give a positive identification.
She said after the crash Huffman told her he had to go and took off running. Several witnesses reported seeing Huffman fleeing from the scene, running though various yards in the neighborhood.Witnesses also reported it appeared as if Huffman had injured his arm in the crash.
Huffman has had two outstanding warrants for his arrest since January; one stemming from a guilty charge of trafficking in stolen property with a petition to revoke his probation, and the second stemming from a guilty charge of burglary in the second degree with another petition to revoke his probation. He was also found guilty in 2013 for possession of a dangerous drug.
Benson advised she and Huffman had smoked methamphetamine at a friend’s house roughly two to four hours before the crash. She also said Huffman told her he was going to leave for Phoenix the following day for a job.
A search for Huffman ensued but he was not found.
Benson received medical treatment from paramedics with Lifeline Ambulance at the scene and was released.
The owner of the vehicle, Benson’s mother, said her daughter had asked if she could go with Huffman to get some money from his mother. She assumed they would use another friend’s vehicle who was at the house and said she did not know they took her van until she was made aware of the crash. She advised she didn’t have any insurance on the van and had driven that way for a while.
The officer’s report was sent to the Safford City Attorney for review and charging.