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Former Navajo Nation officer sentenced to 16 years in prison for deadly DUI crash

Posted at 10:58 AM, Jul 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 18:16:03-04

A former Navajo Nation police officer is spending the next 16 years behind bars for driving drunk and killing a bicyclist.

Kevin Richard Hevel was recently sentenced for second-degree murder for the deadly crash in September 2017.

According to court paperwork, Hevel was drinking for three hours at Westgate Entertainment District near 95th and Glendale avenues before leaving in his car. 

Multiple drivers called 911 and reported seeing him driving erratically on Glendale Avenue near 75th Avenue. When officers responded to the area of 59th and Glendale avenues, they saw Hevel drive onto the sidewalk to avoid hitting another vehicle.

In doing so, he rear-ended another car and struck a bicyclist who was thrown from his bike and into a light pole. The victim, 61-year-old Peter Rankin, died from his injuries.

Hevel continued driving through a red light and hit a Glendale police patrol car with two people inside, court documents said. An officer suffered minor injuries during the crash.

When officers initially approached Hevel, who was still behind the wheel, he had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol and told officers he had “a lot to drink.” It was later determined that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.235.

At the time of the crash, Hevel had been with the Navajo Nation Police Department for nearly 10 years.