GRAPEVINE — Officers gathered recently to pay tribute to an officer who was killed in a line-of-duty accident 10 years ago.Chief Eddie Salame paid homage to Officer Darren Medlin and spoke of the importance of never forgetting the officers who have fallen.Medlin was the first Grapevine officer killed on duty since the inception of the department in 1956.The ceremony was held in the Grand Hall of the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau. Members of Medlin’s family were in attendance.According to police and Star-Telegram records, Medlin — a Grapevine police officer who specialized in taking intoxicated motorists off the road — was struck and killed by a drunken-driving suspect while making a routine traffic stop in 2004.Medlin, 34, a four-year veteran of the department and a former Marine, was standing beside a Ford Mustang he had pulled over on southbound Texas 121 in Euless near the Grapevine border when he was struck by a Lincoln driven by a Bedford man.Medlin, who was thrown about 50 yards, was pronounced dead at the scene.The Lincoln’s was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter.Medlin’s death was captured on videotape by a camera in his patrol car. As with any routine traffic stop, he approached the Mustang from the driver's side and spoke to the woman through her rolled-down window, Dearing said. The lights atop his patrol car were flashing.Medlin had been talking with her for less than a minute when a dark-colored Lincoln sped into the picture. The vehicle struck the rear driver's side of the Mustang and Medlin almost simultaneously, jolting the Mustang forward and slamming Medlin into the Lincoln's windshield before he fell to the ground.After the impact, the Lincoln continued forward for several seconds, drifting down an embankment before coming to a stop on the Texas 121 frontage road between Glade and Cheek-Sparger roads, police said.The suspect was arrested and charged with intoxicated manslaughter and it was found he had used his vehicle as a deadly weapon, according to Sgt. Robert Eberling, a police spokesman. He was found guilty on Aug. 2, 2005. The following day he was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.Officer Medlin is survived by his wife, two children, two stepchildren, mother and sister.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367