Officer laid to rest

Friona High School students line Highway 60 Monday to pay tribute to Texas Department of Public Safety officer Matt Myrick, who died in a traffic accident Friday near Hereford while on duty. (CNJ correspondent: Martha Hardwick)

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer

Law-enforcement officers throughout the region on Monday mourned the loss of one of their own.

Clovis native Matt Myrick, a Texas Department of Public Safety officer stationed in Hereford, Texas, died while on duty Friday in a vehicle accident.

He was buried Monday at Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Clovis, following an afternoon service at The Church of The Nazarene in Hereford.

Myrick, 36, was born, raised and completed most of his schooling in Clovis, but graduated high school in Texas, according to his great-uncle, Joe B. Burford of Texico.

“He was buried in Clovis because his granddaddy, my brother, and his uncle are buried out here,” Burford said.

Myrick’s parents, Steve and Judy Myrick, are Clovis residents, along with his grandmother Hazel Burford.

Matt Myrick held a master’s degree in agriculture from Texas Tech University and he served in the U.S. Navy from 1987 to 1991 before joining the Texas state police force in 2004, officials said.

“I never dreamed of Matt becoming a cop. I was surprised,” Joe Burford said.

Myrick was answering a call for assistance following a car accident south of Hereford on Friday night when he drove off the road and into a ditch. Officials said his vehicle hit a concrete culvert and burst into flames. He was found dead on the scene, according to The Associated Press.

Clovis and New Mexico State Police officers assisted with the 58-mile funeral procession Monday between Hereford and Clovis.

Fifteen New Mexico state police officers helped with Myrick’s procession, said Capt. Oscar Gonzales of the state police department. Clovis police also assisted with the escort, as did other area law-enforcement agencies.

Myrick is survived by his wife and four children.

“As troopers, we all know our jobs are inherently dangerous, and we accept that danger,” said Texas DPS spokesman Trooper Wayne Beighle. “However, knowing and accepting that danger still does not prepare us adequately when we hear that one of our fellow troopers has been lost in the line of duty.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.