Fight to get fallen law officer's name on national memorial ends
A Chickasaw Nation law officer will finally be honored at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, ending an 8-year fight to get him recognized.
Lighthorse Police Special Agent Robert P. Flickinger died in a crash on March 7, 2008. His addition to the memorial was rejected in 2009 after it was alleged the wreck occurred in a "no passing zone."
"We always thought that he could have been trying to avoid the accident by going left of center," Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial chairman Dennis Lippe said.
Flickinger was driving east on the upgrade of a hill on State Highway 199, just east of Madill in Marshall County. A northbound pickup on Whiskey Creek Road made a right turn from the stop sign into the path of Flickinger's vehicle. Flickinger collided with a westbound pickup that had just crested the hill. He died at the scene. The pickup driver and his wife were treated and released from a hospital.
Flickinger's name was added to the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial in May 2009, and law officers have worked to get his name on the national memorial ever since.
"Our guidelines and the national's read almost word for word and they say any doubt will go in favor of the officer," Lippe said. "I don't know why they didn't give the officer the benefit of the doubt in 2009."
Investigators conducted a crash reconstruction this year and sent its findings to the national memorial committee. Last month, they approved Flickinger's addition.
His name will be dedicated during the annual candlelight vigil in Washington, D.C. on May 13 with his family in attendance.
Lippe said he will be submitting nine more officers for consideration on next year's memorial. The national committee will make its determination on those officers next year.