A Missouri man died after being struck by a vehicle while escorting a funeral procession.
Mark Schroeder, 64, was a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer motorcycle group that escorts funeral processions for veterans. He was fatally struck by a minivan at an intersection in St. Louis County on March 26 while on the job, Fox 2 Now reported.
Schroeder was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from injuries, according to the St. Louis County Police Department.
Kenneth McGhee, owner of Archway Memorial Chapel, was particularly saddened by the news. He spoke highly of the Patriot Guard Riders, who were escorting a procession that originated at his funeral home at the time of Schroeder’s death.
“Very kind people, very diligent,” McGhee told Fox 2 Now. “They are very dignified and very proud of the service they provide for fellow veterans.
“Until we learned the end result, even the family who was burying their loved one wanted to know if there was anything they could do.”
The St. Louis County Bureau of Crimes Against Persons, Crime Scene Unit, and Accident Reconstruction Team are currently investigating the crash. It is unclear at this time if the driver of the minivan will face any charges.
McGhee hopes this incident will increase public awareness about funeral processions.
“Once a funeral procession has entered into an intersection, by law they have the right of way,” McGhee said. “They only have to yield to emergency vehicles.”
“We're seeing more and more vehicles interrupting funeral processions,” McGhee added. “Once again there is that statute that requires you do not impede into a funeral procession.”