Kentucky police officer killed by alleged drunk driver

(KRQE/File Photo) BKG police lights generic
(KRQE/File Photo) BKG police lights generic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Louisville police detective was among two pedestrians killed early Saturday after being struck by an alleged drunken driver while the officer was in Lexington, Kentucky, for a Fraternal Order of Police conference, authorities said.

Detective Jason Schweitzer’s death was announced on the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Facebook page. The other victim had not yet been identified by Lexington authorities pending notification of family. Lexington police said an arrest was made in the case.

The veteran lawman’s death spurred an outpouring of condolences.

“Our community mourns the death of Det. Schweitzer, who served and protected our city and its citizens as an officer in the 6th Division,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement. “We send our deep condolences to his family and his fellow officers of LMPD.”

Louisville Metro Councilman David James, a former FOP president, called Schweitzer’s death “a kick in the chest.”

Suzanne M. Whitlow, 26, of Lexington was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence, Lexington police said. The victims were struck around 2:30 a.m. EDT Saturday when Whitlow lost control of her vehicle, police said. Both pedestrians were taken to a hospital, where they died of their injuries.

The crash, which occurred on South Upper Street near Bolivar Street in Lexington, remains under investigation.

Schweitzer had been an officer in Jefferson County since 2001 and served as vice president of the River City FOP Lodge 614 since 2010, according to the Louisville police department’s Facebook page.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, both blood and blue,” the department’s Facebook page said.

Schweitzer was in Lexington for an FOP fall conference, James said.

He called Schweitzer a dedicated husband and father who loved his job.

“He took it personally if a house got broken into on his beat,” James said in a phone interview. “He took it personally if someone got assaulted on his beat. Because he looked at himself as the guardian of those people.”

Schweitzer’s relationship with the police union began at 15 working in the lodge’s kitchen, The Courier-Journal reported, citing his FOP bio.

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