Details Emerge: Man Attacked Couple Who Stopped To Help Him On Highway 89

crime scene
Osburn, while on top of the vehicle, produced a fixed blade knife and smashed the glass sunroof out of the victim’s vehicle. [Photo provided by the Coconino County Sheriff's Department]

Gray Mountain – On Thursday, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office released more details of a bizarre attack that occurred on Highway 89N near Gray Mountain on August 5, 2019. Detectives have identified the attacker as 35-year-old Richard Osburn from Oklahoma.

According to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, preliminary autopsy finding by the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office suggest that Osburn died from blunt force trauma to the head most likely sustained from the him falling from the vehicle onto Highway 89N. There were no other significant injures found on Osburn.

The Department of Public Safety also investigated the incident due to the fact that it occurred on a state highway.


Information obtained through both investigations showed that Osburn and his wife were traveling southbound on Highway 89N. Osburn was driving their vehicle when the vehicle traveled southbound in the northbound lane near the Sinagua Trading Post. Osburn eventually attempted to correct his position and traveled across the median of Highway 89N causing damage to the vehicle.

Osburn stopped their vehicle and was approached by other civilian motorists who were attempting to assist him. Osburn exited his vehicle and began acting aggressive towards them. During this time a couple from Conway, Arkansas arrived to assist. Osburn approached them continuing with his aggressive behavior. The Arkansas couple got back into their vehicle, with the female victim driving, and started to leave the scene. While pulling back onto the highway they observed Osburn running at their vehicle and jumped onto the roof of the vehicle.

The female victim accelerated onto Highway 89N southbound. Osburn, while on top of the vehicle, produced a fixed blade knife and smashed the glass sunroof out of the victim’s vehicle. Osburn then pulled his upper torso into the passenger compartment of the victim’s vehicle and began grabbing at the female driver. During this time, Osburn attempted to stab the female driver with his knife. All the while the male victim was attempting to defend himself and the female victim from the front passenger seat. Eventually, the male victim was able to push Osburn back out of the sunroof. The female victim initiated an evasive maneuver with the vehicle which caused Osburn to fall from the roof of the vehicle at speeds estimated between 60-70 miles an hour. At this point, it appears as though Osburn died as a result of the injury sustained when he impacted the roadway.

Obsurn’s wife was interviewed at the Sheriff’s Office in Flagstaff and has been cooperative with the investigation. She was released to a friend and Victim Witness services.

About Arizona Daily Independent News Service 1962 Articles
Under the leadership of Arizona Daily Independent Editor In Chief Huey Freeman, our team of staff reporters work tirelessly to bring the latest, most accurate news to our readers.


  1. I was second on the scene and the first one to attempt to render assistance. His pulse stopped seconds after I began to check it.

    I did see the dog tags he was wearing and it made me sad he was a veteran but there was something much more than PTSD going on. Remember, we didn’t have the benefit of a news article to tell us what had happened. Having spent years in a trauma room I have a pretty good idea what a drug fueled violent outburst looks like, and that’s what this was. His wife pulled up shortly after we did and things quickly began to unravel. Looked like a murder scene to me that may not have been done so we elected to get out of there before DPS showed up. As we were leaving we saw the couple exiting the gray sedan. They looked obviously pretty shaken up as well.
    I’m guessing if the toxicology screen is ever released it will point to the motivating factor.

  2. Very saddened by the comments here I knew him personally and we were both decorated combat veterans. He was a good man. Father of 5 and husband of 13 years to one of my best friends. He was not high but rather suffering a PTSD episode that unfortunately cost him his life.

  3. Thank you for giving us a better view on this story
    I kinda knew something was amiss Osborn now we guess was higher then a kite as he went Airborn
    Its not safe anymore to stop and help others
    I use to help people all the time
    It has gotton now I wont Unless I see a child in need Ill call 911 before I stop ..
    Been seeing more and more cars with plates from Oklahoma Texas Arkansas etc travling west on hwy 60

  4. Probably never going to see Arizona the same again. “Oh yeah, those Arizonans are cRaZyY! Jerry, remember that time a man jumped onto our car and smashed out the sunroof?”

Comments are closed.