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Deputy: Officer killed while biking was in bicycle lane



An off-duty Tucson police officer killed as he bicycled last month was hit from behind by a motorist who drove into a bicycle lane, a sheriff’s sergeant said.

The investigation shows a pickup truck either drifted or veered into the bike lane and hit Allen Dixon Johnson, said Sgt. Jeffrey Copfer, head of the sheriff’s traffic investigations unit.

Also, blood tests done as part of an autopsy on Johnson show he had no alcohol or drugs in his system, sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Dawn Barkman said.

Tests being done on the driver of the pickup are not complete and could take as long as six months, Copfer said Thursday.

Whether citations or charges will be sought against the truck driver will not be decided until after the investigation is complete and it is reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office, Copfer said. The name of the driver was not released.

He said blood tests on Johnson already are complete because the Pima County Medical Examiner sent blood samples to a private lab for testing, a procedure that typically takes four to six weeks.

Blood samples from the driver, however, were sent to the state Department of Public Safety crime lab in Phoenix for testing.

That lab, which takes cases from numerous law enforcement agencies from around the state, takes much longer to do the tests, Copfer said.

Johnson, 26, was bicycling east on East Old Spanish Trail just west of South Camino Loma Alta, about 2:20 p.m. March 10 when he was struck, Barkman said at the time.

Johnson had been a Tucson officer since September 2005. He was assigned to uniformed patrol in the police department’s downtown patrol district.

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