DALLAS (CBSNewsTexas.com) – An Arlington Police Department officer died Thursday morning after a major accident at Dowdy Ferry and I-20 in Dallas. Officials later identified the officer to be Darrin McMichael, who was a 24-year veteran at the department and a dedicated member of the motorcycle unit for the last 13 years.
In a statement, Chief of Police Al Jones said: “Officer Darrin McMichael was a respected and beloved member of our APD family. We are heartbroken and we are hurting. This is a devastating loss that will be felt for a long time. Please pray for his wife, who is also an APD employee, his family, his friends, and his APD family. They need all the support they can get right now.”
According to Doug Sisk with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, McMichael was on his way to work when he fell off of his motorcycle around 5:30 a.m. after bumping into the back of an SUV when traffic ahead of him slowed. While he was on the ground, another vehicle, believed to be a dark-colored Chrysler or Dodge sedan-type vehicle, ran over McMichael.
Jones said McMichael was driving a department-issued motorcycle at the time of the crash.
Sisk said the driver who ran over McMichael did not stop, and the DCSO is asking anyone who may have been in the area for information or dashcam video.
According to Jones, McMichael’s wife was following behind him.
“Unfortunately she had to witness this tragedy,” said Jones.
The accident happened while it was still dark outside, and there are no highway lights in the area. It caused westbound I-20 to be shut down at the CF Hawn Freeway, which reopened just before 9 a.m.
McMichael was hired in 1999 and served for nearly 25 years, with the last 13 years in the motorcycle unit. Jones said the motorcycle unit is one of the most visible units in the department.
“He was loved by our community, he spent a lot of time out there,” said Jones. “He will be truly missed, not only by our department but by our community.”
Jones said APD is receiving support from all surrounding agencies and is grateful for all the assistance they provide.
The chief said there currently aren’t memorials or vigils planned as APD is “still grieving as an organization.”
“As days and weeks go on we can talk about memorializing this day,” he said. “Right now, it’s too early.”
Jones also said making sure APD officers are well after this tragedy is a priority and peer counselors are available.
To the driver, the chief has one message: “Please turn yourself in. We are hurting as an organization and we need closure.”
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