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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Arlington, TX Motorcycle Officer Craig Story Dies in Fiery Crash

    Arlington officer killed in crash loved motorcycle duty | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Breaking News for Dallas-Fort Worth | Dallas Morning News

    Arlington officer killed in crash loved motorcycle duty

    12:00 AM CST on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News
    teiserer@dallasnews.com / The Dallas Morning News
    Bruce Tomaso contributed to this report.

    Three months ago, Craig Story achieved his longtime dream of becoming a motorcycle officer. That dream ended Wednesday morning when the 34-year-old Arlington police officer died in a fiery collision with a school bus on one of the city's busiest roadways.

    Story, a seven-year veteran of the force and proud father of a 2-year-old son, died at the scene.

    "This is a very difficult time for me personally and for this police department," said Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman during a media briefing outside police headquarters. "It is very painful to have to announce that early today we lost one of our own."



    The school bus driver and the nine students aboard escaped injury. The students, ages 6 to 13, were immediately taken to nearby Arlington High School to meet with grief counselors, officials said.

    Story was described as a devoted father and husband, and a fitness buff. He had a black belt in jujitsu and was an amateur wrestler and weightlifter. He also spoke Spanish and was working with another officer to learn Vietnamese.

    He and his wife, Danielle, grew up down the street from each other in Wichita Falls and were married almost 10 years ago.

    Fellow officers said he liked to refer to his son, John, as the "most handsome young man ever born."

    Danny Story, his father, said his son was a man of few words who "always shot straight with everybody." He said his son long wanted to be a motorcycle officer. He fulfilled that dream when he joined the 17-member motorcycle squad in October.

    "He liked the adventure, the thrill of it," said Story, who lives in Oklahoma.


    Early-morning crash

    The collision occurred about 7:15 a.m. at South Cooper Street near West Inwood Drive, not far from Arlington High.

    Story had turned on his lights and sirens after spotting a speeding vehicle, said police spokeswoman Tiara Ellis Richard. He was pursuing the vehicle northbound on Cooper.

    At the same time, a southbound school bus was turning left at Lynda Lane. The motorcycle and bus collided in the northbound lanes of Cooper, ejecting Story and causing the motorcycle to erupt in flames.

    Investigators have not determined who, if anyone, is at fault in the wreck, she said.

    A witness, Mark Smith of Arlington, said he was in his car on Inwood facing east, about to turn onto Cooper, when he saw the motorcycle coming north through the intersection.

    He said the officer hit his lights and siren as he got to the intersection, as if to signal that he was coming through.

    Smith said he heard the collision but didn't see it.

    "That motorcycle was just a big ball of flame," Smith said.

    Smith said he and another man tried to rescue the officer, who was on fire.

    "We took jackets and tried to put out the flames," he said. "It was just a mess. [The motorcycle] was just in flames. There were pieces everywhere. He was off his bike, in the middle of it.

    Omar Nafal, another eyewitness, said in an e-mail that he and his wife were leaving Starbucks on Cooper when he "saw a ball of fire and a bunch of black smoke."

    He wrote that he initially thought it was a trash fire until his wife began screaming that there was a burned body.

    "I looked [and] all I seen was his burnt white helmet," he said. "It was still on him. I swear I couldn't tell what color his clothes were. That's how bad it was. I will never forget that crash in my life."

    Danny Story said that before his son joined the Arlington police force in 2002, he worked as a guard at a state prison near Wichita Falls.

    "All the guards would stand behind him if there were problems," his father said. "He was a tough son of a gun. I'm very proud of him."

    He also said his son's faith grew stronger in recent years.

    "He was a man's man," his father said. "He's somebody that everybody wants to be like. He didn't drink. He didn't smoke. He didn't do drugs."


    Commended officer

    Craig Story completed his bachelor's degree in criminal justice at Midwestern State University in his hometown in 2001, just before joining the Arlington Police Department. In 2005, he was nominated as patrol officer of the year in the city's east division. He had 19 commendations.

    A former field training officer, Craig Story helped train 12 to 15 recruits in a two-year span. He also was a member of the department's tactical unit.

    Richard, the police spokeswoman, said the officer's death was the third traffic fatality in Arlington this year.

    His death marked Arlington's first line of duty death since 2001 when Cpl. Joey Cushman was fatally shot by another officer during a training accident.

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    Rest in peace , Ofc. Story. Condolences to family, friends , and colleagues.
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