Man who killed El Paso detective in DUI crash charged with manslaughter

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Byron Bolen: El Paso Detective Richard B. Allbee Jr. was pronounced deceased at the scene of a head-on collision Feb. 9, 2020 between his white Chevy truck and a Ford truck driven by John Savage, 51. Savage was believed to have driven while impaired and caused the crash. He was recently charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault, and aggravated DUI.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – More than a year after a head-on collision took the life of El Paso Police Department detective Richard B. Allbee Jr., 51, the man who allegedly caused the collision has been charged with manslaughter.

The Graham County Attorney’s Office has filed charges of manslaughter – a Class-2 felony, two counts of aggravated assault – Class-3 felonies, and three counts of aggravated DUI – Class-4 felonies, against John Savage, 51.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, Allbee and his wife, Norma Allbee, 59, were traveling from El Paso to Mesa and were westbound in their Chevy Silverado. pickup truck on U.S. Highway 70 when an eastbound white, Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by Savage crossed the centerline. The trucks collided head-on at the Bylas Bridge just west of Bylas. A witness traveling eastbound behind Savage corroborated that Savage’s vehicle had drifted into oncoming traffic and that the Chevy had no time to avoid the collision. Detectives also later downloaded a data recorder from the Chevy truck

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Arizona Department of Public Safety officers assist Texas Honor Guard officers in transporting the body of El Paso Detective Richard Allbee to a plane that flew him home.

Richard Allbee, who was a 19-year veteran with the El Paso Police Department and had also served in the Texas Army National Guard, was declared deceased at the scene. Norma Allbee and Savage were both airlifted to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson for treatment of their injuries. Norma, who was a passenger in the Chevy truck, suffered two broken arms and broken ribs. Savage suffered a pelvic fracture, dislocated left hip and a spinal fracture.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Byron Bolen: This Ford driven by John Savage, 51, ended up flipped over after veering into oncoming traffic and striking a Chevy truck driven by Richard Albee Jr., who was deceased at the scene. .

Prior to Savage being flown from the scene, DPS troopers noticed he appeared impaired by alcohol and an ice chest with cans of Michelob Ultra beer was found near the Ford as well as various full and empty cans scattered near the vehicle. A sample of blood taken from Savage at the hospital indicated a blood/alcohol content of .124.

Jon Johnson File Video/Gila Herald