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Border agent killed in ATV crash in southern Arizona

Agents responding to 911, beacon alerts rescue 5 in desert near Ajo
Posted at 6:24 AM, Nov 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 08:26:36-05

DOUGLAS, AZ — A Border Patrol agent was reportedly killed in a crash Tuesday night, according to officials.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened just before 7:15 p.m. near Douglas.

Officials believe 44-year-old Freddy Ortiz was on an all-terrain vehicle responding to a call for suspected undocumented immigrants.

While responding to the call, Ortiz's ATV left the roadway and hit a light pole.

Ortiz was taken to the hospital but he later died of his injuries.

“U.S. Border Patrol Agent Freddy Ortiz’s on-duty death is a tragedy and a stark reminder of the dangerous nature of our mission,” said John Modlin, Chief Patrol Agent for Tucson Sector. “ I am grateful for all the Border Patrol Agents, first responders, and medical staff who attempted to save his life. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and loved ones.”

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are investigating what led up to the crash.