25-year-old Detroit police officer Darren Weathers killed in crash
DETROIT (WJBK) - Darren Weathers was known as Lucky around the Detroit Police Department. At just 25 years old, with just over a year in the department, he made a lasting impact.
"He's truly a hero and one of Detroit's finest," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Craig delivered the tragic news that Weathers was killed in the line of duty Tuesday morning.
"Our heart and prayers go out to not only members of his unit, the entire DPD, and certainly his family," he said.
Detroit Police Officer killed in violent crash on west side
The chief says Weathers was alone in an unmarked squad car doing a training exercise Tuesday morning along Michigan Avenue near Clark. The crash so violent - Weathers squad car was split in half.
"There was another member of his team following some distance behind. She actually witnessed the accident and called the accident in," Craig said.
Craig says another car was involved with two or three occupants, but says those passengers weren't hurt. It's too soon to know if speed played a role.
"It's too soon to know what the cause factors were involved in this. We are looking into that," Craig said.
In his short time with the department Weathers has been hailed a hero. Last April, his partner Waldis Johnson was shot in the head. Weathers is credited with saving him and was awarded the medal of valor.
"For a young officer to respond that way, he relied on his training, his instincts," Craig said.
It wasn't just on the job where he was a stand out. A video of Weathers went viral over the summer when he stopped in his uniform to play with a group of kids.
"It's certainly a dark day. It's a very difficult day for the Detroit Police Department," Craig said.
Weathers has a young daughter. She was actually already coming up from Georgia to visit her dad when the crash happened.