Officers remember deputy after fatal accident

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

HUGO, OK-The Choctaw County Sheriff's office is mourning the loss of one of their own killed in a fiery crash Thursday night.
OHP said 47-year-old Brian Hayden was killed after he collided with Choctaw County Tribal Police officer 29-year-old Josiah Moore. Moore was critically injured. It happened on Highway 70 about three miles west of Soper.
Victoria Maranan was at the scene of the accident Thursday night, she brings us reaction from Hayden's brothers at arms.
Investigators said Choctaw County Sheriff's deputy, Brian Hayden, was on his way to answer a call when his truck collided with Moore's police car. Hayden was pronounced dead a short time later, at a Hugo hospital.
Friday, his colleagues share their memories of a devoted man who died doing what he felt called to do, help others.

"He was a very important person to us all, he was a great officer, he was a great man."

Hugo police officer Jason Thomas rushed to the scene on Highway 70 as soon as he heard about the crash. Little did he know his friend, 47-year-old Brian Hayden, was one of the men involved.

"All I knew was that something tragic has happened, I actually spoke with one other officer over the phone and went their direction and responded to the scene, it's one of those things we don't want to ever see or deal with," he said.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Hayden and Choctaw Nation Tribal officer, Josiah Moore, were responding to the same call of shots fired at around 9:30 Thursday night when their units collided. Moore was flown to a Plano hospital with critical injuries, Hayden was pronounced dead at a Hugo hospital.
Sheriff Lewis Collins said Hayden's death shook his entire department.

"It was a tough night for the family. All of the family, we had probably 25-30 officers from the county in the hospital. No one left the hospital last night until a little before 1:00," he said.

Undersheriff Terry Park worked with Hayden for more than 20 years. He stayed at the hospital until 3 a.m.

"He was just a great man that loved, loved the Lord, loved his wife and family, very dedicated to the job and he'll deeply be missed," he said.

Sheriff Collins said even though Hayden had only been with his office for four months, he'd already made a huge impact on his community.

"We'll just miss him, he's just a great asset. Working a shift you want him to work, do anything you ask him to do, he's set on goal 24/7," he said.

"Ever since he's been here in the S.O.I., I couldn't tell you, he was a motivated officer and spent a lot of time with him and in that time, I never saw nothing but good," said Thomas.

Funeral arrangements are underway for Hayden and a fund has been set up for his family at the First Bank in Hugo if you'd like to make a donation.

Brian and Tabitha Hayden
First Bank
1501 E. Jackson
P.O. Box 609
Hugo, OK 74743

Sheriff Collins said officer Moore is set to be released from the hospital in a few days.


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