DETROIT - Detroit police Officer Darren Weathers was 25 years old and already hailed as one of the best and brightest in the department.
But on Tuesday, Weathers was on a training exercise when there was a crash and he was killed. Now the Detroit Police Department, which was already in mourning for the death of Officer Glenn Doss, has another funeral to plan.
The tragedy came after two other officers were shot in the line of duty in the last week.
Weathers was known for his random acts of kindness. He never intended to be an internet sensation, but tens of thousands of people watched a viral video of him pulling over to play basketball with a group of children in the street.
Weathers was a product of Detroit's east side and was already a combat veteran and father to a young girl.
When he saw the children playing basketball in April 2017, he asked if he could shoot hoops with them. The children couldn't believe it when he got out of the squad car and played with them. They also worked on their pushups and had a race.
Weathers was only a year and a half into his career as an officer when he had to save the life of a fellow officer, Waldis Johnson.
Weathers and Johnson were on a domestic violence run last spring when a man started shooting at them. Johnson was shot in the face, and Weathers returned fire while dragging his partner out of danger.
After the incident, Weathers was chosen for the department's Integrity Unit. He was on a training run Tuesday when his car was hit, and he died from the injuries.
Chief James Craig said Weathers was alone in his vehicle. Another officer was following in a vehicle behind Weathers and witnessed the crash.
"A second vehicle with maybe two or three occupants (was involved)," Craig said. "I am told they were uninjured or suffered minor injuries."
The chief said the collision pushed Weathers' vehicle into a metal pylon, causing extensive damage.
"It's too soon to know what the cause/factors were involved in this," Craig said. "We're looking into that."
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