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Hero Down: Morgantown Police Department Officer Zane Breakiron Dies In Off-Duty Crash

Monongalia County, WV – Morgantown Police Department (MPD) Officer Zane Breakiron died in a single-vehicle crash while off duty on June 3.

Investigators said the collision occurred sometime between the late-night hours of June 2 and the early-morning hours of June 3, CBS News reported.

The 34-year-old officer was traveling northbound on Route 43 between the exit to Cheat Lake and the Pennsylvania border when the fatal wreck occurred.

He succumbed to his injuries at the scene, The U.S. Sun reported.

Details regarding the cause of the crash were not released.

The MPD announced Officer Breakiron’s death in a press release on June 5.

“It is with incredibly heavy hearts that the Morgantown Police Department mourns the passing of Patrol Officer First Class and K-9 handler Zane Breakiron,” the department said.

“Officer Breakiron was an absolute blessing, not only to the Morgantown Police Department, but to anyone and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him,” the MPD continued. “As we grieve the loss of Officer Breakiron, we remember his outstanding character, genuine smile, contagious laughter, fun-loving personality, and passion for the community.”

Officer Breakiron made the office a better place and his presence was “a source of comfort” to everyone he met, according to his coworkers.

“Each time Zane came to work, he brought with him a light of positivity that radiated throughout the entire department. He was not only an incredible person, but a fantastic police officer as well,” the MPD said. “Please keep Officer Breakiron’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as we all navigate through this difficult time.”

Officer Breakiron died just three days before his seven-year anniversary with the department, West Virginia MetroNews reported.

His longtime friend, Barry Frey, told CBS News the young officer had recently accepted a position with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS).

“I know his parents are very proud,” Frey said. “It’s unfortunate that he won’t be able to do that now.”

In addition to serving as a K9 officer, Officer Breakiron was also a member of the MPD’s Underwater Search and Rescue Team and was a physical trainer for the department, according to his obituary.

His family said he demonstrated an “unwavering bravery and dedication to protecting others.”

MPD Chief Eric Powell told West Virginia MetroNews the department was fortunate to have someone of Officer Breakiron’s caliber on the force.

“He probably was an officer who was the epitome of what a police officer should be,” Chief Powell said. “Throughout his career, from the time he started, he possessed all the qualities that are vital to being a good officer.”

Officer Breakiron leaves behind his parents, as well as his brother, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins, according to his obituary.

Nearly 1,000 people attended his memorial service on June 9, West Virginia MetroNews reported.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Morgantown Police Department Officer Zane Breakiron, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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