An Indiana police officer was working a DUI checkpoint Aug. 22 when he received a phone call with devastating news: His daughter had been killed by a suspected drunken driver.
“We had just taken a break and were coming back to finish up and my phone rang. I saw that it was Kirstin’s mom, and through the sobbing and the screaming, she got out that Kirstin was dead," said Shragal, a 25-year IMPD veteran who has made nearly 4,000 DUI arrests.
According to the New York Daily News, an alleged drunken driver in a pickup truck struck Burton in Dayton, Ohio. Burton's car crashed into a tree, killing her and critically injuring her 14-month-old son, Orion, who was in the back seat.
"I was furious that the one I couldn't get my hands on took my daughter," Shragal told WXIN.
Shragal said he is determined to get back to work and prevent other tragedies by getting more drunken drivers off the road.
In the meantime, he can take some comfort in remembering his final exchange with Burton, known for her inspirational words on Periscope and love for her friends and family.
“I’m blessed that the last words I said to my daughter were, ‘I love you, Sunshine,’ and she said, ‘I love you too, Daddy,'" he told WXIN.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.