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Thousands Expected at Funeral for Fallen Minnesota Law Officer

photo from Hennepin County Sheriff's office
photo from Hennepin County Sheriff’s office

Wayzata, MN (KROC-AM News) – Thousands of law enforcement officers from throughout Minnesota and surrounding states are expected to gather in the western Twin Cities on Thursday for the funeral of Wayzata Police Officer William Matthews.

The memorial service is scheduled to begin at 11 AM at Wayzata Free Church in Plymouth, but with limited seating and parking, officials are encouraging the public to pay their respects by gathering along the route of the procession from the church to Summit Park Cemetery in Wayzata.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says there will actually be two processions following the funeral. The first will include vehicles from hundreds of law enforcement and other public safety agencies and will be followed by a second procession involving the Wayzata Police and Fire Departments, the family of the fallen officer, and the horse drawn caisson that will carry Officer Matthews to his final resting place.

He died in the line of duty last Friday after he was struck by a vehicle while removing a chunk of metal that was in the traffic lane of a freeway. The motorist involved in the deadly incident has been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs and using a cell phone. 54-year-old Beth Freeman has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Officer Matthews grew up in the Pine Island area and was a graduate of Pine Island High School. He also attended RCTC and Winona State University before beginning his career in law enforcement, which included an internship with the Rochester Police Department and the part-time work at the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department.

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