DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — Hundreds of police officers and others gathered on Monday for the start of services for an Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy who was fatally struck by a car being pursued by police.
Deputies in dress uniforms carried the flag-draped casket of 50-year-old Eric Overall into Independence Township’s Mount Zion Church this evening for visitation ahead of his funeral tomorrow morning.
One of the many who came out to Monday’s visitation was Ashley, who said Overall helped get her life back on track and is the reason she’s still alive.
“If it wasn’t for Deputy Overall I honestly wouldn’t be here today,” Ashley told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Jon Hewett. “He was the last person I talked to before I put myself into rehab so I owe my life to him. I was 16 and now I’m 30, and I have two kids and he’s the one to thank for that.”
Authorities say Overall was preparing to deploy “stop sticks” designed to deflate vehicles’ tires when he was hit. The 22-year-old driver Christopher Berak faces charges of first-degree homicide and murder of a peace officer.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard is also struggling with the loss of Overall. He said the number of people coming out to support the family is “uplifting” but it is still very difficult for everyone who knew him.
“For me it’s kind of like you’re the dad and your kids are hurting,” Bouchard said. “You’re not sure how you can make it better. It’s uplifting to have all the people turn out, have the emotional support and the prayer support. That’s important.”
A public service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday with a private family procession following. Gov. Rick Snyder has also ordered the lowering of U.S. and Michigan flags Tuesday on state buildings.