Oklahoma City, OK – Canadian County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Lieutenant Shirley Lanning died in the line of duty in a two-vehicle collision on Friday morning.
The fatal crash occurred on the Northwest Expressway near the Kilpatrick Turnpike at approximately 9:30 a.m., KWTV reported.
Lt. Lanning was traveling westbound in an unmarked patrol vehicle when she drifted over the centerline for an unknown reason.
An oncoming minivan was unable to move out of the way without colliding with a third car that was traveling alongside it, according to police.
Lt. Lanning’s patrol vehicle and the minivan slammed into one another head-on.
The two occupants inside the minivan were rushed to a local hospital and are expected to survive their injuries, KWTV reported.
Lt. Lanning was trapped inside the wreckage and had to be extricated from her vehicle.
She was rushed to a local hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
The exact cause of the collision remains under investigation.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I request prayerful support for our Canadian County Sheriff’s Office family at the loss of Lieutenant Shirley Lanning,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said in a Facebook post hours later. “Shirley was suddenly taken from us this morning in a car crash while on duty.”
Lt. Lanning began her law enforcement career with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff West.
She later retired from the University of Central Oklahoma campus police before she joined the CCSO approximately six years ago.
Lt. Lanning served as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years altogether, Sheriff West told reporters on Friday afternoon.
“Everybody loved her. She’s going to be dearly, dearly missed,” he said. “She was a bundle of joy.”
Sheriff West said that the department and Lt. Lanning’s family have been in shock in the wake of her sudden death.
“Shirley was a dedicated and committed law enforcement professional,” Sheriff West said. “Shirley was loved very much by all who knew and worked with her, and she will be dearly missed…Please keep her husband and other family members in prayerful support.”
CCSO Captain Adam Flowers said that Lt. Lanning was “a go-getter and someone you could always rely on.”
Lt. Lanning was responsible for conducting all of the department’s background investigations.
She wasn’t only a great deputy – she was also a great friend, Capt. Flowers explained, holding back tears.
“She loved every minute of everything she was doing,” he added. “She’ll always be in the department. She’s part of our family.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Canadian County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Shirley Lanning, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.