Hundreds of law enforcement officers and citizens gathered Thursday to honor Wayzata police officer Bill Mathews, who was struck and killed by a driver last week as he cleared debris from U.S. Highway 12.
Prosecutors have charged a 54-year-old woman with criminal vehicular homicide in Mathews' death, alleging she was driving under the influence and distracted by her cellphone when she hit the officer.
The focus Thursday, though, was on Mathews, 47, his life and the loved ones he left behind, including a wife and 7-year-old son.
In his eulogy, officer Dan Lee, Mathews' partner on the force, recalled Mathews' strong commitment to fellow officers.
"To Bill, there was no such thing as a solo call. He'd back you up on everything he could," Lee said. "He would purposely not air he was coming to your call, but instead would dispatch himself through the computer in the hopes you would not catch it and cancel him."