OKLAHOMA CITY – Tragedy strikes an Oklahoma City family for the second time.
One of the city’s most inspirational heroes, officer Chad Peery, died following a car crash near Seminole over the weekend.
Officer Peery was left paralyzed after trying to remove some rowdy patrons from a bar back in Feb. 2011.
For two years, Peery endured endless hours of rehab.
Then Sunday, while driving down I-40 east of Shawnee, a van carrying officer Peery and five others blew a tire and rolled down a grassy embankment.
Chad and three of his four kids were thrown from the van.
“I knew Mr. Peery did not appear to be in good condition at the time,” state trooper David Brown said. “It hit me and my partner hard. I knew his story and his fight to get back to what he was.”
“He’s done everything to get over his injuries for his family and to have this happen, I don’t know what to say about it,” Oklahoma City FOP President John George said.
Peery’s fellow law enforcement officers said they can’t believe two tragedies befell the same family.
“I think Chad brought the community together for a while,” George said. “The outflow of support from the community was incredible. I hope he’s been an example for everybody. I know he was for our department.”
“The Peery family lost a devoted son and a father,” OKC Police Capt. Dexter Nelson said. “Law enforcement has lost a valued partner and brother. The community lost a public servant and hero.”
Two of Chad’s kids remain in serious condition, two are in good condition.
The driver, Peery’s 19-year-old caretaker, was the only person in the van wearing a seat belt.
She has been treated and released.