2 Officers Down In Difficult Week For Longview Police Department – How We Can Support Them
It's been a tough week for our boys in blue in Longview as they deal with two tragedies involving two of their own.
Officer Christopher Vannoy suffered burns over 51 percent of his body after trying to help during an off-duty accident on Monday [August 20].
According to information shared on the GoFundMe account set up for the family, officer Vannoy was off-duty and at home when he noticed smoke coming from a neighbor's shed. He went over to investigate, and when he opened the door, it created a 'flash over' that burned him from the torso down. He was flown to the LSU burn center for treatment and is expected to be there for 50 or more days.
Vannoy is engaged and had just purchased his first home. He also just started his career with the Longview Police Department on August 8 alongside six of his fellow classmates. He is very active in the Arp community as certified paramedic and a volunteer firefighter.
The community is now rallying to help Officer Vannoy and his fiance during this difficult time, and you can get involved too:
- A GoFundMe account is available to help with the expenses they will deal with during his long recovery.
- Officer Vannoy Benefit shirts are available to purchase through black cloud apparel with all proceeds going to help the family.
- A Chris Vannoy Benefit Cookout Event is being organized. Here are the details.
If Officer Vannoy's accident wasn't bad enough, just a few days later, the Longview Police Department would suffer a second blow with the death of another brother in blue.
Officer Stedmond Coleman, 27, died in a one-vehicle wreck late Thursday night [August 23] in Gregg County.
According to KLTV, DPS officials reported Coleman was eastbound on Farm-to-Market Road 2906 near Garrett Road when he failed to negotiate a curve, striking a culvert and causing his vehicle to roll.
Coleman was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the car. He was transported to a local hospital, but did not survive his injuries.
A 9-month-old child was also involved in the wreck, found still buckled inside a child safety seat. She survived.
The department released the tragic information overnight on its Facebook page, and Chief Mike Bishop had a special request:
Chief Mike Bishop asks that our Brothers and Sisters in public safety along with the Longview community hold the Coleman family along with our department in their hearts and prayers during this difficult time.
Officer Colman has been a part of the Longview Police Department since 2013.