Sergeant Christenberry died from burns that he received in an off-duty accident that occurred at his home on September 12, according to the Statesman.
His daughter, Chelsea Paige Roberts, started a GoFundMe Page for medical expenses from her father’s accident prior to his death. On that page, she said:
“On Tuesday, September 12th, my father Gary sustained severe burns over 29% of his body in an accident at his home.
He was taken to a hospital in our home city of Austin in an ambulance, and they soon realized that his wounds were too extensive for their hospital to treat. He was life flighted to the Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio to undergo treatment in their Burn ICU.
With a burn, they estimate 2-3 days in the hospital for every 1% of burned area; this leads to a suspected max of 87 days in the hospital; this does not include the time in the ICU, which is looking to be at least two weeks.
Gary is a veteran, a Police Officer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather. He is the kindest, most ethical, and sincere man I’ve ever known; and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who knows him, who does not agree with that statement.
The estimated cost per day in a Burn unit is between 5k and 10k — This is prior to specialist, topicals, and other requirements of a burn this severe.
Even with insurance, he and his wife (my mother)are looking at some heavy medical costs that they do not need to be stressed about while he is trying to recover.
My dad is the kind of man who would give someone the shirt off his back. He has given his entire life to service, to taking care of others; now he needs some help.”
Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said that “the department lost a friend, mentor, leader and a dedicated officer.”
He said, “Gary will be remembered as the hero he was to many. He will be greatly missed and we thank him and his family for the 24 years of public service he provided our Austin community.”
Sergeant Christenberry is a 24-year veteran of the Austin Police Department. He was assigned to South-Central Austin, was promoted to Corporal in 2002, and to Sergeant in 2008.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Austin Police Sergeant Gary Christenberry, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.