A son, a brother, an officer mourned in Alexandria
More than 100 law enforcement vehicles from throughout the state, along with fire departments and emergency responders, were part of the funeral procession for Alexandria police officer Patrick Callaghan Wednesday afternoon.
Callaghan, 31, of Alexandria died Saturday from injuries he suffered in a snowmobile crash on the Central Lakes Trail east of Alexandria. He was off duty at the time.
The funeral service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church drew so many people that an overflow area was set up inside the Alexandria Technical College's law enforcement wing where the service was aired via closed-circuit television.
It was estimated that more than 400 vehicles total took part in Wednesday's procession, which went down Highway 29, 3rd Avenue and County Road 22 to Kinkead Cemetery.
Police departments from all over the state, including Morris, Benson, Menahga, Cold Spring, Brainerd, Blue Earth, Ashby, Glenwood, Richmond/Cold Spring, Belle Plaine and White Earth, along with police departments from Fargo and West Fargo, North Dakota and county sheriff offices from Stevens, Grant, Stearns, Pope, Wadena and Traverse, as well as the Minnesota, North Ambulance and other responder rigs, the Alexandria Fire Department and surrounding fire departments were in Alexandria to honor Callaghan at his funeral.
More than 60 law enforcement vehicles led the procession, followed by a trio of fire trucks, 22 unmarked vehicles and another 50 different law enforcement vehicles.
There were also dozens of people lining the streets, watching the procession, in honor of Callaghan.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call reporting a snowmobile crash on the Central Lakes Trail just west of Liberty Road last Friday at 8:10 p.m.
At the time of the call, two sheriff deputies were at a commercial burglary alarm in the area and arrived on the scene in less than one minute.
Deputies found two men seriously injured - Callaghan and Mark Ruder, 25, of Glencoe.
Both were transported to Douglas County Hospital and then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. Callahan died as a result of his injuries at 12:45 a.m. on January 31.
The sheriff's office is continuing to investigate how the crash happened. Here's the latest information:
There was one other man riding with Callaghan and Ruder - Rob Stanley, 28, of Alexandria. All of the men knew each other and were riding on the trail together.
Callaghan and Stanley stopped just west of Liberty Road at the bottom of a small hill. Reportedly, Ruder's snowmobile, which came up and over the hill, then ran into the back of Callaghan's sled, according to the sheriff's office. All three men were wearing helmets.
The sheriff's office noted that blood-alcohol tests were taken, but that the results wouldn't be known for 10 days to two weeks.
Stanley, who was not involved in the crash, but was a witness to the accident, was interviewed at the scene and then arrested for operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol, the sheriff's office reported. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail and released on Saturday.
The accident is under investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota State Patrol.
The State Patrol has mapped the scene and will be completing a comprehensive accident reconstruction.