End of Watch: August 31, 1990
Sgt. Blaser, along with Officer Gabrielli, were investigating a previous fatal crash on US 89 south of Valencia Road in Tucson when both were struck from behind by a car driven by James Sheets. Sheets was determined to be driving under the influence. Sgt. Blaser died after being transported to a Tucson-area hospital. He was the first DPS line supervisor to die in the line of duty.
The driver, James B. Sheets, was found guilty July 18, 1991, of manslaughter and reckless endangerment by a Pima County Superior Court jury. In September 1991, a judge ordered Sheets to serve 9-year sentences on each of the two manslaughter counts and three years for reckless endangerment. The sentences were to run consecutively. Sheets died May 21, 1997, at St. Mary’s Hospital of natural causes at the age of 52.