Hero Down: Bardwell Police Chief Michael Spurgeon Killed By Wrong-Way Driver
Ellis County, TX – Bardwell Police Chief Michael Spurgeon was killed in a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver on Sunday morning.
Chief Spurgeon, 67, and his son, 40-year-old Bardwell volunteer firefighter Michael Spurgeon Jr., were among five people killed in the violent crash, KDFW reported.
The incident occurred on State Highway 34 outside Bardwell just after 10 a.m., as the police chief and his son were out running errands.
Chief Spurgeon and his son were traveling eastbound in a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria, when 31-year-old Jose Munoz veered into their lane in his 2012 Dodge 1500 pickup.
Munoz, who had a 5-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl in his vehicle, slammed into the Crown Victoria head-on, killing everyone in both vehicles.
The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation, KDFW reported.
Both children were Ennis Independent School District students.
“Ennis ISD is deeply saddened at the sudden passing of two of our students this past weekend in an automobile accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of these children at this very difficult time,” the district said in a Facebook post.
“Please pray for this family, who also lost their father in the crash, along with the family of Bardwell Police Chief Michael Spurgeon and his volunteer firefighter son, Michael Spurgeon, Jr., who perished as well,” the post read.
The Bardwell Volunteer Fire Department announced the loss of Chief Surgeon and his son on Sunday afternoon.
“Our hearts and condolences go out to the Family and Friends of Bardwell Police Chief Micheal Spurgeon Sr and Bardwell Area Volunteer Firefighter Micheal Spurgeon Jr who were tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident this morning,” the fire department said in a Facebook post. “Please keep our department, our community and the additional affected families in your prayers.”
Chief Spurgeon’s son, Justin, said that his family is reeling in the wake of the loss of his father and only brother, KTVT reported.
“I know our family was turned upside down when this happened,” Justin said. “Right now, all we can ask for is prayers [and] for people to be there for the family, for all of us to lean on."
Michael’s full-time employer, Texas Motorplex, said in a press release that Michael was always “a smiling face at the Motorplex and always made the events seem like a home-away-from-home for strangers and friends alike.”
Chief Spurgeon also worked security for the Motorplex over the years.
“They will be missed by all who met them, worked with them, served with them and those luckiest to be called their friends,” the press release read.
Chief Spurgeon was the city’s only full-time police officer, and had served in that capacity for many years, KDFW reported.
“He puts on the uniform every day,” Justin recalled. “He loved his job. He’s been doing it since I was in high school. He loved the city. He loved doing his job, and he did it well.”
Bardwell resident Eula Beal said that the close-knit community is “devastated” to have lost its police chief.
“We don’t know how we’re gonna survive without a police officer,” Beal said. “I mean, he was really good, really good.”
The Italy Police Department and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department are helping patrol the streets of Bardwell until the local city council establishes a long-term solution.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bardwell Police Chief Michael Spurgeon, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.