Eddy County, NM – Artesia Police Department (APD) Corporal Thomas “Tom” Wade Frazier died in the line of duty after colliding with the back of a tractor-trailer on May 21.
The 42-year-old corporal was traveling northbound in a 2018 Ford F-150 on U.S. Highway 285 near mile marker 77 when the crash occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m., the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (DPS) said in a press release.
APD Commander Lindell Smith later confirmed Cpl. Frazier was “actively involved” in an investigation at the time, the Carlsbad Current Argus reported.
“For reasons still under investigation the F-150 collided into the rear of the International tractor-trailer that was also northbound and slowing to turn into the Creek Side Dairy,” DPS said.
The 20-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured in the collision.
Cpl. Frazier suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator, DPS said.
The New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit and Drone Unit are assisting the New Mexico State Police Uniform Bureau with the ongoing investigation into the fatal crash.
Cpl. Frazier served the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia for 12 years prior to joining the APD’s Criminal Investigations Division five years ago, the APD said in a press release on May 21.
The veteran officer was a member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Task Force and also served as the chief of the Sun Country Volunteer Fire Department, the Carlsbad Current Argus reported.
“Thomas Frazier was the best man in Artesia, New Mexico and in this world,” his coworker, Lola Chavarria, told WHSV. “He had the biggest heart. He would give the shirt off his back to anybody.”
Cpl. Frazier leaves behind his wife, Allison, and their children, four-year-old Carter, six-year-old Caden, and seven-year-old Kamryn, according to his department.
“His wife and children and his APD family will miss him dearly,” the APD said. “We are requesting your prayers for Tom’s family at this time.”
A fundraising campaign established to help Cpl. Frazier’s family in the wake of their loss has raised over $6,000 so far.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered flags be lowered to half-staff on Monday in honor of Cpl. Frazier.
“My prayers are with the family, friends and Artesia Police Department colleagues of Detective Frazier,” Grisham said in a press release. “While we are still learning the details, the incident is a tragic reminder of roadway dangers, and a reminder that we must recognize and appreciate the public service of the first responders all across our state working to keep our families and communities safe.”
🔹 Blessed Are The Peacemakers 🔹
Corporal Thomas Wade Frazier
Artesia Police Department, New Mexico
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) May 23, 2021
The scene is starting to clear up now. They’ve towed the white truck that was involved in the crash, but police are still out investigating. pic.twitter.com/UZcWpmwqVq
— Tamara Lopez (@tamcam_tv) May 21, 2021
— Michae Smith Current Argus (@ArgusMichae) May 21, 2021
KOB4: RT @meganrabundis: We’ve learned Cpl. Thomas Frazier was the Artesia Police Officer killed in today’s crash. He, his wife and kids attended Harvest Fellowship. Frazier was also the Chief of the Sun Country Volunteer Fire Department. @KOB4 pic.twitter.com/VnvNaEWBDI
— Georg Thomas (@SupportWFam) May 21, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Artesia Police Department Corporal Thomas “Tom” Wade Frazier, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.