Pawnee, OK – Pawnee County Undersheriff Monty Johnson died in the line of duty on Thursday, when an oncoming driver crossed into his lane, colliding with his vehicle head-on.
The violent collision occurred just north of the Cimarron Turnpike on Highway 18 at approximately 6:30 a.m., KJRH reported.
Undersheriff Johnson, 63, was on his way to pick up a fellow officer for a training course when the crash occurred, according to KOTV.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) Lieutenant James Loftis said that the driver of the 2008 Ford pickup truck overcorrected, then crossed into the oncoming lane, colliding with the undersheriff’s 2008 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car.
He has been identified as 30-year-old Alexander Pummill, the Stillwater News Press reported.
Undersheriff Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene, according to KOTV.
Pummill suffered a broken leg, and was transported to a local hospital.
He is cooperating with the ongoing OHP investigation, and provided a blood sample for toxicology testing.
Undersheriff Johnson, a life-long Pawnee County resident, joined the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) in 2004.
Approximately 100 people joined together outside the Pawnee County jail to hold a vigil in his memory on Thursday night, KOTV reported.
“He’s a great man of God – that’s the most important thing I can say – is he is a great man of God, he raised his kids right, a very loving person,” family friend John Stephenson told the news outlet. “A lot of people said it here tonight: he has a great heart.”
Undersheriff Johnson leaves behind his wife, Anita, and their children, as well as many friends and extended family members, The Cleveland American reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pawnee County Undersheriff Monty Johnson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.