'Rest In Peace True Blues': Alleged drunk driver crashes into Thin Blue Line LE motorcycle club, killing 3 members
"As a fraternal organization, we strive to support one another, law enforcement professionals and our community", the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club website reads.
Kerr County Sheriff's Office announced in a Facebook post on July 18 that three members of the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club have died in an accident. Several of the club members were returning home from their anniversary lunch, when an alleged drunk driver crossed the median and slammed into the motorcyclists head-on, on Highway 16 in Kerrville, Texas. Deputies confirmed three fatalities, while nine others in critical conditions have been hospitalized. The victims of the car crash comprised two retired Army Veterans and retired police officer, and have been identified as 79-year-old Jerry Wayne Harbour from Houston, Texas, Michael White from Chicago Illinois, and Joseph Paglia from Chicago. According to News 4 San Antonio, the unidentified driver has been taken into custody, and charged with several counts of intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault.
"Please keep our brothers with the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club in ya'lls prayers. They were on a ride in the Texas Hill Country, and were on highway 16 south of Kerrville, when another person crossed the center stripe," The Kerr County Sheriff's office said on Facebook. "The ride was in celebration of the club's birthday when the accident occurred. There were three fatalities and 9 members taken to the hospital in critical condition. The person that crossed the center stripe has been arrested for several counts of intoxicated manslaughter and intoxication assault. The Kerr County Sheriff's Office prays for all their families and friends."
According to their website, Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club was formed in 2009. They describe themselves as a group of "active duty, retired, or reserve law enforcement officers from a variety of agencies and jurisdictions". Their website reads, "As a fraternal organization, we strive to support one another, law enforcement professionals and our community". The LE MC is identified by its distinguished blue color emblem. "Our colors clearly identify our affiliation with law enforcement and we are bound by our oath of office and law enforcement 'code of ethics'," says the club on its website. "The Thin Blue Line is the symbol known by law enforcement officers the world over as the line that holds the frontier between chaos and civilian life, between crime and the American dream."
Twitter saw an outpouring of prayers and grief at the tragic news. "Oh, this is too terrible to comprehend. Prayers for all and families involved," a user tweeted. "Blue Lives Matter. Police are put in danger every day. It is time for much harsher penalties for drunk driving," another user asserted. "Rest In Peace True Blues", a user wrote in a tweet. "This is horrible. Prayers and regards to all the family and friends of these heroes," one user commented, while another said, "Horrible....all because some murderous drunken POS....extremely sad."