Ottawa County, KS – Concordia Police Officer Marc Henry was killed in a multi-vehicle highway collision on June 11 as several drivers attempted to avoid hitting a drunk man who was hitchhiking in the middle of the roadway.
Officer Henry, 48, was taking an off-duty ride on his motorcycle at approximately 2:45 p.m. when the fatal crash occurred, KWCH reported.
“Vehicles had slowed to avoid striking the pedestrian,” Kansas Highway Patrol Lieutenant Roy Henry told the Concordia Blade-Empire.
Among them was a white Kia, which came to a full stop in the traffic lane, Lt. Henry explained.
Officer Henry attempted to stop, but collided with the back of the Kia, KWCH reported.
The injured officer was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A second person was injured in the collision, and was taken to a Salina hospital for treatment, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said.
The hitchhiker, Calvin Stuart, was arrested on charges of second-degree murder and pedestrian under the influence.
Officer Henry was a military police officer in the Army National Guard and Army Marine Corps prior to joining the Concordia Police Department in 2012, according to his obituary.
He served 20 years in the military, and spent 10 years on active duty before he retired in 2015.
Officer Henry also worked for the Clay Center Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office after his military service.
“He wanted nothing more than to be a police officer,” Concordia Police Chief Bruce Johnson told the Concordia Blade-Empire. “He helped recruit several of our officers.”
Chief Johnson said that Officer Henry was more than a member of the department.
“I worked with him on the street in 2012,” the chief recalled. “We not only lost a great officer – I lost a great friend.”
Officer Henry leaves behind his wife, Lisa, as well as his son, Johnnie Mastin, his daughter, Jordan Champlin, and his grandson, Coen Champlin, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his mother, siblings, and extended family.
"We are deeply saddened at the loss of a great colleague and friend,” Concordia City Manager Amy Lange said in a statement, according to KWCH. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Marc's family, friends and colleagues.”
Officer Henry will be laid to rest on Friday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Concordia Police Officer Marc Henry, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.