The families of two fallen Arlington police officers came together to honor their memories 25 years after a drunk driver crashed into their patrol car, killing them.
The tradition honors the officers’ lives and the ultimate sacrifice each gave to their communities. The brief ceremony on Friday was about reflection and respect.
Fun loving and generous — two of the many things Jeri Lynn Crocker remembers about her dad, Officer Jerry Crocker, while at the spot where a drunk driver cut short his life and his partner’s life, Officer Terry Lewis.
Jeri Lynn is now a dispatcher with Arlington police, the very department her dad worked for until he died in the line of duty.
"I was 15 when it happened,” she said. “So growing up without a father was tough. It was real tough.”
Officer Lewis' family finds each passing year both challenging and cherished. The annual wreath-laying tradition marking the day of their deaths brings back memories for them.
"You remember the day,” said Becky Milne, Lewis’ daughter. “You remember what you were doing and think about what you've missed. And we get to see extended family and honorary family."
It was 1992 when officers Lewis and Crocker had just wrapped a call assisting the victim of a hit-and-run crash when a drunk driver slammed into their patrol car. But their lives and memories continue to make an impact.
"We appreciate the love and care and support we've received always from our Arlington Police Department,” Kris Lewis, the fallen officer’s widow.
The man convicted in the officers’ deaths was handed a 20-year prison sentence. The families say he served time and has since been deported back to Mexico.