Wife Witnesses Off-Duty Officer's Deadly Crash

Balch Springs officer dies in front of wife

By Reginald Hardwick and Randy McIlwain
|  Monday, Dec 12, 2011  |  Updated 11:56 AM CDT
A North Texas wife and now widow talks about losing her husband in a motorcycle accident.

Randy McIlwain, nbcdfw.com

A North Texas wife and now widow talks about losing her husband in a motorcycle accident.

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Accident Kills Off-Duty Officer

An off-duty police officer is killed in a late night motorcycle accident.
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Balch Springs Police Officer Matthew Garcia died early Sunday when he crashed his motorcycle into a retaining wall in the Dallas Canyon.

The impact ejected Garcia, 35, from his motorcycle from the Northbound entrance ramp of Cesar Chavez Boulevard. He landed 25 feet below on the shoulder of Interstate 30. 

"The bike just started, we call it walking, the handle bars just started shaking and you could tell he was trying to turn it," said Garcia's wife Toni. "He just he was there and then he wasn't and so when I stopped my car and looked over the edge I saw him on the shoulder of the highway. I kept looking over and he wasn't moving."

Garcia was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, where he died. His wife, Toni, was following the motorcycle and witnessed the tragedy. She is a police officer in Henderson County.

"He was my heart," said Toni Garcia.

The couple was heading home after a motorcycle club Christmas party for police officers, and that's the reason she is speaking out about her husband's death. She wants people to know Matthew Garcia was not speeding and was not drunk.

"We lived our lives the way that we were supposed too and he I don't want him remembered like that," said Toni Garcia.

She says it's the first time in years she wasn't riding on the back, he told her to take the car so her hair wouldn't get messed up.

"Every time I close my eyes I just see him going over that and looking down and seeing him on the ground not moving," Toni Garcia said. "How do you get rid of something like that, it's just not possible."

Garcia was a four year veteran of the Balch Springs force. He and Toni have a 10-year-old son.

Funeral arrangements are still being made. Garcia was a military veteran and the family is working to incorporate military honors for him as well.

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