OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City police Sgt. Meagan Burke’s family, friends and colleagues said their final goodbyes to the fallen officer Thursday afternoon.
“Her reach was far and wide and we have all been touched in some way by her death,” said OCPD Chief Wade Gourley.
Sgt. Burke had been a police officer in Oklahoma City since May of 2016. The 31-year-old died in a head-on crash on her way home from work on Sept. 29. Dispatchers received a call around 12:30 a.m. about the crash along I-44 near S.W. 29th St.
“I know the other driver going southbound crossed the median and the barrier, entering into the northbound lane striking the officer who was in their personal vehicle,” said OKCPD Cpt. Valerie Littlejohn on the scene. “When we arrived, we learned that one of the involved drivers was one of our officers who unfortunately was pronounced deceased.”
A procession to honor Sgt. Burke began around 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, where hundreds of police followed in line. That procession led to Southern Hills Baptists Church on N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Sgt. Burke’s funeral began at 3:45 p.m. where five fellow police officers spoke on friends’ behalf and shared memories of working alongside her.
“Some here are mad, some are upset, some of us are even numb,” said one of the speakers. “We don’t know how to feel. Some of us want to know why. Why so young? I’m not here to answer those questions, I wish I had the answer, but this afternoon I am here to celebrate the life of this fine young lady.”
He added the words “duty, honor and courage” exemplified who Meagan was.
“Losing her is a shock I will feel for a long time,” said Sgt. Lauren Cunningham. “My peace is knowing that I got to be a small part of the tenacious, awesome person that she was… “Meagan was quirky, she was stubborn, she was passionate and strong.”
“Meagan was an awesome cop. She was really good at what she did. She was very aggressive. She did not take crap from anybody,” said Lt. Chris Swanson.
“Meagan, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. You weren’t supposed to be a name on a wall or a memorial. You were supposed to be at birthday’s, graduations and weddings,” said Matt Burmell, an academy mate and dear friend of Sgt. Burke.
The speakers added that Sgt. Burke enjoyed watching soccer, playing with her growing number of dogs and was a “Christmas enthusiast.”
She was also devoted to the department’s youth-leadership volunteer service program. One speaker added that several kids “made a statement that their lives were changed because they encountered Meagan and she made a difference.”
“My challenge to everyone here today is to honor Meagan’s legacy by considering how we might live today so we are not faced with regret tomorrow. Our thoughts, words and actions in the present are our only promise,” said Chief Gourley.