Family Hit by Double Dose of Tragedy

Bedford man killed three days after burying his Marine son

By Scott Gordon
|  Thursday, Aug 13, 2009  |  Updated 3:36 PM CDT
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Dad Killed Days After Marine Son's Funeral

NBCDFW.com

Billy Stroud bought a motorcycle and applied to join the Patriot Guard after his son's funeral.

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Dad Killed Days After Marine Son's Funeral

A dad is killed by a suspected drunken driver three days after burying his Marine son.
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A Bedford man was killed by a suspected drunken driver just three days after he buried his Marine son who died in Afghanistan.

Billy Stroud, 56, was riding a new motorcycle on Tuesday morning when he was struck from behind on Belknap Street in Haltom City, police said.

The driver who hit him, Tammy Sue Stegall, 50, was charged with murder. Police said she was previously convicted twice of drunken driving. Investigators said she was again driving under the influence when she struck Stroud.

Stroud's son Jonathon, 20, died after serving just two months as a Marine in Afghanistan. He was buried Saturday in Cashion, Okla.

His family was impressed by a group of motorcyclists called The Patriot Guard who attended the funeral. The group lines funeral routes of fallen soldiers all over the country.

"(We were) highly impressed,” said Johnathon's father-in-law, Jim Light. "I thanked each and every one of them."

Billy Stroud was so impressed, he bought a motorcycle Monday after returning from the funeral. He also applied to join the Patriot Guard.

"That's what he wanted to do -- return the favor, be a part of it," said Virginia Crawford-Light, the mother of Stroud's former wife.

He was riding his new Yamaha when he was killed on Tuesday.

"We would have been really honored to have him," said Mike Lambert, a ride captain for the Patriot Guard of North Texas.

"It's a shame," said Myla Kay Jones, of Azle, Stroud's former sister-in-law. "The reality is a drunk driver took his dream away."

"I know he was hurting at the funeral,” Jones said. "And then to find out he's gone, too, it's very upsetting."

Jonathon Stroud is survived by his wife, who is pregnant with the couple's first child.

Billy Stroud is survived by Johnathon's 24-year-old sister, who now must plan her father's funeral. It is scheduled for Monday in Hobbs, N.M.

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