Amarillo Police Officer Dies in Line of Duty

Officer Mark Simmons
Officer Mark Simmons

An Amarillo Police Officer passes away from injures he sustained on while on duty in 2005.

They know what they put on the line when they suit up in their blue uniform..

But when one of their brothers is lost in the line of duty it really hits home.

Officer Mark Simmons suffered head trauma and a major spinal injury in march of 2005 when the vehicle he was in was hit by another driver.

Officials say the accident made every officer on the force think about how quickly their lives can change.

Lt. Martin Birtenfeld, who was working that night and showed up to the accident says, "Probably a part of us wishes it was us instead of our friend, and another part that knows we have to help this person out and it makes it a little more intense with it being someone we know really well. It's just part of the job. We accept that risk and try to deal with it."

In 2006 Simmons retired because of his medical condition.

That same year, Governor Rick Perry awarded him the Star of Texas for his service.

Simmons died this morning at his home in Quanah.

He was 31 year old and leaves behind two little girls.

Lt. Birtenfeld has kind words about mark and a message to his family, just click on the link above.