Our prayers are going out to Carrie Underwood and everyone in her hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma, as they face the death of 35-year-old assistant police chief Justin Durrett.
Carrie and Justin went to church together and were friends before Carrie rose to stardom on “American Idol” in 2005. According to Oklahoma City’s KOCO News 5, Carrie donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe page set up to help with Justin’s hospital bills after he was gravely injured in an accident on Feb. 11.
She used her married name, Carrie Fisher, to make the donation, so it went unnoticed until Justin’s family alerted the local station about the country superstar’s generosity. That fund has now raised more than $18,000 of its $20,000 goal, in large part due to Carrie’s generosity.
According to a preliminary report from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Justin lost control of his pickup truck on an icy roadway and the vehicle went off the road. The “Tulsa World” newspaper reports that Justin was ejected from the truck and was trapped underneath it as it rolled over. He was not wearing a seat belt. A sheriff who came upon the crash site pulled him out of the wreckage.
After spending several days in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Tulsa, Justin Durrett passed away on Feb. 26. He leaves behind two children who we know will miss their father very much, as well his parents and girlfriend.
A post on Justin’s GoFundMe page speaks volumes about the man’s character and standing in his community. It reads, “He is loved by many because he has loved everyone so much. The love pours out when we see people praying for him. He has done his job keeping us safe … and stopping crime. This man would give the shirt off his back for anyone.”
He had been an officer with the Checotah Police Department for 13 years. Law enforcement escorted his body from the hospital in Tulsa back to Checotah for his funeral.
We can only think of Carrie’s song “See You Again” as we keep Justin’s friends and family in our thoughts and prayers.