INDEPENDENCE TWP. (WWJ) – A Oakland County Sheriff’s deputy fatally struck by a car that police were chasing is being hailed as someone who died while trying to protect others.
Hundreds of police officers from across the state, Ohio and Canada were among some 2,000 mourners at Tuesday’s funeral for 50-year-old Deputy Eric Overall at Independence Township’s Mount Zion Church.
Among those paying their respects was West Bloomfield Police Chief Mike Patton.
“The men and women that you see here, they’re very human, and they have a human side,” Patton told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “They have families and they have friends and they’re not always the gruff face you see behind the badge that sometimes is the necessary front that they have to put on. You know, they’re human.”
Authorities say Overall was preparing to deploy “stop sticks” designed to deflate vehicles’ tires when he was hit early Thanksgiving morning.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said during the funeral that Overall’s actions that night make him “the embodiment of a hero.”
Sonya Overall said her husband was a passionate fisherman and he’d hoped to become a fishing charter boat captain in Florida when he retired.
Most of all, he’s being remembered as a man with a huge heart.
“We was an amazing father. His heart beat for those two boys,” Sonya Overall said. “Sadly he lost his son Cameron three years ago, and the only ounce of comfort I can find in losing my husband too soon is just knowhign that he is with Cameron right now.”
The couple’s surviving son Ken said his dad lived by the motto: “Never give up.” (A GoFundMe account is raising money to help Overall’s family with unexpected expenses).
Following Tuesday’s service, the department did a flyover of two county choppers as the contingent of officers stood in the parking lot and saluted his casket.
The driver who struck Overall, 22-year-old Christopher Berak, faces first-degree murder and other charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.