Huffman suspected in two hit-and-run collisions in Safford and Thatcher on same day

Was given a citation last year for the same offense

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana – philosopher

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

SAFFORD AND THATCHER – Police have issued an attempt to locate for hit-and-run suspect Nardy Gene Huffman, 34, of Safford, regarding two hit-and-run collisions Sunday. 

It’s deja vu all over again for Huffman, who was given a citation roughly a year ago for leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a driver’s license. (See Gila Herald: Hit-and-run suspect found after leaving license plate at the scene – Aug. 2, 2018

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Nardy Huffman is shown here in his 2018 booking photo.

In that case, Huffman reportedly crashed into another car at the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and 20th Avenue and fled the scene. Officers found Huffman 30 minutes after the crash and a portable breath test showed a breath/alcohol concentration of .265. However, Huffman instead that he drank a bottle of liquor after the crash and since officers were not able to determine if he drank the bottle before the collision or afterward no DUI charges were filed. 

On Sunday, officers were initially dispatched at about 5:12 p.m. to the G&S Market regarding a hit-and-run collision. Upon arrival, officers located a black, Kia sedan with damage to its driver’s side. 

According to witnesses at the scene, the Kia was southbound on 8th Avenue and a silver SUV was northbound when the silver SUV swerved and almost hit a pedestrian and then overcorrected and struck the Kia. The silver SUV then fled the scene southbound on 8th Avenue but left behind its front grill. Additionally, a witness managed to capture a cellphone picture of the SUV prior to it speeding away. 

About a half-hour after the initial call, at 5:46 p.m., Thatcher and Safford officers responded to 3394 S. Dry Gulch in Daley Estates after a silver Nissan Xterra crashed into a fence and a natural gas meter. The Nissan matched the description of the vehicle in the hit-and-run by the G&S Market in Safford and was missing its front grill.  

The Nissan is registered to Lacey Heider-Huffman, and, according to witnesses, the driver who fled the scene was identified as her husband, Nardy Huffman. 

Officers helped evacuate residents from the area due to the natural gas leak and were searching for Huffman when Heider-Huffman called authorities advising that her Nissan Xterra was stolen. 

At about 6 p.m., an officer interviewed Heider-Huffman at her residence in the 1900 block of Relation Street and she reported that her SUV had been stolen and that Huffman couldn’t have been driving it because he has a suspended license. 

Heider-Huffman said she leaves the Nissan in her carport with the keys in the ignition and that it was still in the carport when Huffman left the residence between 10:30 – 11 a.m. earlier that day. 

Heider-Huffman also advised that she attempted to get ahold of Huffman but was unable to do so. When asked to look at her cellphone for phone calls and text message, Heider-Huffman complied but said she deleted her calls and messages because “that’s just what she does.” 

In the 2018 hit-and-run case, Heider-Huffman also reported that her vehicle was missing but later advised that it wasn’t stolen after Huffman and another woman were found sitting in it, intoxicated, in a dirt alleyway in the are of the 2500 block of Relation Street. 

Possible charges against Huffman for Sunday’s incidents are pending.

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