Wilmington Police Department remembers one of their own

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department is investigating a crash that killed one of their own.

A day after his death, several officers stopped by the crash site to remember fallen officer Richard Matthews.

The 28-year-old officer was responding as back up when he swerved to avoid hitting a box and lost control of his marked vehicle.  He hit a tree and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Wilmington Police Officer Larry Zettlemair said the department is broken-up over the loss, but officers know they must still do their jobs.

"We all know what happed and that's just what you have to do," said Officer Zettlemair.

Zettlemair said the City of Wilmington has an employee counseling program designed to help in these types of situations, but he and other veteran officers are still there for the rookies.

"We're all here for each other I don't care if you're the chief or the newest guy who just got out of training," said Zettlemair.

Funeral services for Officer Matthews will take place sometime this week in Pennsylvania.  A memorial service will be held in Wilmington a few weeks after that.

Donations in memory of Officer Matthews may be directed to:

TheWilmington Police Recreation Association
c/o Lt. Matt Hinson
615 Bess Street
Wilmington, NC  28401