Courtesy of OHP Aircraft Home Page
Governor Keating ordered flags flown at half-staff Thursday in memory
of the two Oklahoma law enforcement officers who are being hailed as
heroes. Officer Jeff Rominger, 42, a two-year veteran of the Oklahoma
City Police Department, is survived by his mother and an 8-year-old son.
OHP Trooper Matt Evans is survived by his wife of two years. Evans was
scheduled to go off duty an hour after the crash. The medical examiner's
office says both men died of trauma in the fiery crash. Their deaths are
being ruled homicides. The Oklahoma City Police officer is the first to
die in the line of duty since Officer Delmer Warren Tooman was killed
during a 1990 robbery of a south Oklahoma City restaurant.
Two suspects were running from Oklahoma City officer Jeff
42 when they entered an exit ramp onto Interstate 40 from May Avenue.
After traveling about a mile in the wrong direction down the interstate,
the suspects’ vehicle clipped a flatbed tractor-trailer truck, and was
struck head-on by an oncoming OHP trooper’s car. Oklahoma City police
officials say it is still unclear exactly what happened, but apparently
officer Rominger’s car was then struck by the trooper’s car,
resulting in a fiery crash.
The trooper, identified as Matthew Evans, was not involved in the
chase, according to Lt. Chris West, patrol spokesman. Oklahoma
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Bob Ricks told reporters during
a news conference that Evans “was en route to assist another trooper
on a potential drug stop.”
The two suspects were ejected from their car and were declared
dead at the scene. Trooper Evans was also pronounced dead at the scene.
After Oklahoma City firefighters extracted officer Rominger from his
mangled and charred car, he was transported to University Hospital,
where he later was pronounced dead. The driver of the truck was not
Trooper Evans served only one year with the Highway Patrol,
graduating from the patrol’s academy in August of 1999. He is survived
by his wife. Oklahoma City Officer Jeffery Rominger is survived by his
mother and an 8-year-old son, who lives in Florida.
across the state joined Oklahoma City police and OHP trooper in mourning
the loss of the two law enforcement professionals. Oklahoma City
officers wore black bands across their badges, and Oklahoma’s Governor
Frank Keating ordered flags across the state to be lowered to
half-staff. In a statement released Thursday morning, Governor Keating
said, “Cathy and I join all of our Oklahoma neighbors and the
outstanding men and women of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the
Oklahoma Highway Patrol in mourning the loss of Officer Jeff Rominger
and Trooper Matt Evans.”
“We often times used the term ‘tragedy’ too
loosely,” DPS Commissioner Bob Ricks said of the incident. “What
occurred here today was truly a tragedy.”
Funeral services for
Trooper Evans and Officer Rominger were held Tuesday, September 10 at
the First Southern
Baptist Church in Del City, Oklahoma.
funds for Trooper Evans have been set up through the office of the
chief of the highway patrol, 405-425-2008.
may E-Mail the Oklahoma City Police Department Public Information Office