MCALESTER, Okla. (KFOR) – A local police department is asking for prayers after a tragic turn of events.

Last week, the McAlester Police Department announced the sudden passing of Captain Richard Parker.

Parker had been with the department for over 26 years and made a lasting impact.

“He truly understood his role to protect and serve our community and cared deeply for the citizens of McAlester and his fellow law enforcement officers. Captain Parker will be greatly missed by those who have had the pleasure of knowing him,” the department posted on Facebook.

As they were dealing with the sudden loss of Capt. Parker, the department was hit with another tragedy.

While en route to lay Capt. Parker to rest, a truck hit a McAlester patrol car head-on, critically injuring the officer.

Now, officials say Officer Joseph Barlow is fighting for his life.

“The family of Officer Joseph Barlow would like to thank the many Oklahoma communities, especially the City of McAlester and all of their residents for their support of they have shown our family.

We have received an outpouring of love, support and prayers which we are grateful.

As a family we have been overwhelmed with all the support. Our family has needed these thoughts and prayers.

As a family, we are completely devastated with the events that have occurred on March 17th surrounding the automobile collision that occurred on while the McAlester Police Department and other Law Enforcement Agencies in the State were escorting our fallen brother Captain Richard Parker home.

Our family would like to express our thanks to the Glenpool Police Department, the Glenpool Fire Department, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and EMSA for their quick response to this tragic collision. We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to all the staff at St. John Medical Center for their care that they have provided to Officer Barlow. We would also like to express our gratitude to all the law enforcement agencies who came to our aide and provided various services, there are just too numerous to mention.”

Statement from Joseph Barlow’s family

At this time, the family would like to band together and continue to support one another privately. Our goal is to focus on Officer Barlow’s hospitalization and to support one another.

At last check, Barlow was still in critical condition after undergoing multiple surgeries.

The driver of the truck, Martin Rodriguez Rivas, was arrested on complaints of driving illegally while causing great bodily harm, reckless driving, and driving without a license.

A benefit fundraiser for Officer Barlow is being held at the McAlester Elks Lodge on Tuesday , March 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Barlow’s family account at First National Bank.