Goodbye, Officer Phoenix


Comfort food; that’s what I need at this moment.

It comes after I watched hundred’s of law enforcement escort a fallen Bureau of Indian Affairs officer to her final resting place. To see the line of every kind of police , sheriff, state, federal and tribal vehicle — with it’s blue and red lights flashing, in this sad procession is heart wrenching.

It’s made even more wrenching when the back story is known. Officer Denise Phoenix died on Valentine’s Day jus’ months after she being exposed to chemical fumes emitted from a meth-lab she and her fellow officers busted up in Montana.

This is not the worst of it.

Eight years ago, Officer Phoenix lost her two children, Justin and Shasta Surace to a driver who suffered a medical event of some sort while driving. Also killed in the crash were her brother Ronald Phoenix and the driver of the errant car, Lafayette Lee.

I was one of the first people to come upon the scene and attempt to offer aid.

Since that time she fought and eventually won a battle to have a barrier erected dividing the north and south bound roadway on which three of her family members perished. The skid marks on the barrier are proof that lives are being saved since its installation.

She passed that spot this morning — one final time along the Pyramid Highway, en route to Nixon, Nevada. There are three crosses erected in the spot where her children and brother died.

She also passed by the barrier that she was so instrumental in having put up to save lives.

Currently, a request is before Nevada’s U.S. Senator Harry Reid to have that section of the Pyramid Highway between Sparks Boulevard and Highland Drive to the north and Golden View Drive to the south named in her honor. It would be fitting for this courageous officer who did so much for this community and lost so much at the same time.

Yes, I need some comfort food to nourish the sadness I feel for Officer Phoenix’s family. Then perhaps a good cry as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.