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Cottonwood Police Officer Jody Makuch Killed In An Off-Duty, Head-On, Accident

Cottonwood Police have lost one of their own. Police say Commander Jody Makuch (MUH-KOOCH) was riding his motorcycle, off-duty, through Cottonwood Monday when a vehicle drifted left of center and struck him head-on. Makuch was transported to Verde Valley Medical Center and passed away from his injuries. The driver, 41-year-old Jason Howard Engel of Camp Verde, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter and suspicion of DUI. Makuch’s daughter attended NAU and was a student employee with NAUPD. According to NAU Police, Makuch frequently worked overtime events on the NAU campus and was a member of the team that hosts the Arizona Leadership Education and Development program for high school youth on campus every summer. He was married with two adult daughters and two sons ages 12 and 13. Our condolences go out to both the Cottonwood and NAU Police departments and anyone who knew him.