Friday proved to be a very sad day for Bryan County. We woke up that morning to learn the seemingly unthinkable had happened — an on-duty sheriff’s deputy was killed in a head-on collision on the interstate. Sgt. Robert “Bobby” Crapse wasn’t pulling anyone over for speeding, he wasn’t engaged in a high-speed chase. He was simply doing what we all do everyday — driving down the street.
The investigation into the accident is under way, and it could be some time before officials — and the public — have a clear picture of exactly what happened in the wee hours of Friday morning. It’s hard to imagine how someone could end up driving on the wrong side of I-95 in the first place, which makes it easy to assume that drugs or alcohol had to be involved. The driver of the suspect vehicle was a local woman of just 23, and regardless of whether she was intoxicated, one thing is fairly certain — aside from any broken bones and bruises she may have suffered, she is likely to harbor a lifetime of guilt unlike anything most of us will ever know.
This tragic accident highlights just how fleeting life can be. Law enforcement officers serve as local heroes to their communities, keeping an ever-watchful eye out for danger so that we can feel safe in our homes. When someone steps up to the plate as protector in the way law enforcement officers do, we know they are putting their lives on the line for the greater good. We think of them chasing down the bad guys standing in the way of stray bullets. It’s somehow easy to forget that they are just as, if not more, susceptible to the tragedies they investigate.
Bryan County lost a dedicated deputy and an outstanding member of the community Friday when Sgt. Crapse lost his life. More importantly, his wife lost her husband, his young children lost their father, and his parents lost their son. At 32 years old, he had so much life ahead of him. There surely isn’t a heart in Bryan County left unbroken for the Crapse family, and our thoughts and prayers go out to them. May they find some peace in their time of loss.