An Indiana police officer who dedicated most of his career to stopping drunk drivers was devastated to find out a suspected impaired driver had killed his daughter.
He was working a DUI checkpoint at the time.
On Aug. 22, 48-year-old Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Dan Shragal, who has made nearly 4,000 DUI arrests over 25 years, received the news that his 22-year-old daughter Kirstin Burton had been killed, WSBTV reports.
“We had just taken a break and were coming back to finish up, and my phone rang," Shragal told WSBTV. "I saw that it was Kirstin’s mom, and through the sobbing and the screaming, she got out that Kirstin was dead."
An alleged drunk driver crashed a pickup truck into Burton's car in Dayton, Ohio. Her car then hit a tree, instantly killing her and critically injuring her 14-month-old son, Orion.
"The irony is horrific," Shragal's wife told NY Daily News. "It's been very, very difficult for Dan. He's said several times that he's the one he couldn't get. He couldn't stop him, and he took away his daughter."
Just moments before Burton died, Shragal spoke with her for the last time.
"I'm blessed that the last words I said to my daughter were, 'I love you, Sunshine,' and she said, 'I love you too, Daddy,'" he said. "That is the last time I spoke to her."
Shragal returned to work earlier in September but has yet to work another checkpoint.
"He wants to return very, very much, but right now it's very hard for him to think about doing that," his wife said. "It's going to bring back memories that are still very fresh for him. It's still very raw for him."