Texas Police Officer Killed In Oklahoma While Helping Stranded Driver

Wednesday, November 24th 2010, 10:01 am
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Chris Wright, News On 6

EUFAULA, Oklahoma -- An off-duty Texas police officer on his way to visit family in Oklahoma for the holidays died saving the life of a stranded driver Tuesday night.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Patrick Sirois, 50, was killed in an crash about a mile north of Eufaula on Highway 69 at about 7:50 p.m. on November 23rd, 2010.

Sirois was a reserve officer for the Nolanville Police Department in Texas and worked full-time for the Department of Defense as a police officer at nearby Fort Hood.

According to the OHP, Sirois and his fiancee were on their way to visit family in Wagoner.  He was going north on Highway 69 when he saw a 2004 Ford pickup hauling a trailer disabled in the southbound lanes.  OHP said Sirois stopped his vehicle, put on his reflective vest and crossed the median to help the driver, 28-year-old James Snowden, of McAlester.

Sirois was assisting the driver when a passing car clipped the trailer. OHP said Sirois pushed Snowden out of the way before the trailer pinned him against the guardrail, killing him.

Trooper Burkley Cash responded to the accident.

"We see it a lot, but when it's one of your own, it's something different," Trooper Cash said. "I can only imagine his character. Someone willing to give his life like that to help someone else."

Sirois was pronounced dead at the Eufaula hospital.  Snowden was not hurt.

"He did what he loved. He lost his life doing what he loved. That's Pat." Charles Rodriquez, a fellow Texas Police officer, said.

A 17-year-old Checotah girl, identified by the OHP as Beonce Hobson, was behind the wheel of the car that clipped the trailer. She was not hurt, and was ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed in a construction zone.

Sirois's body was escorted back to Nolanville Wednesday afternoon.