GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds gathered Sunday evening to honor Grand Prairie officer A.J. Castaneda, who was killed Friday after he was hit by a vehicle.
The candlelight vigil took place in front the department’s headquarters, where hundreds lit up candles or their cellphones to shine a light in honor of the fallen officer.
“Officer Castaneda was a tenacious, model police officer with a tireless work ethic and a servant’s heart. His lifelong dream was to join the Grand Prairie Police Department, so he could turn to the neighborhood where he grew up. And he fulfilled that dream when he was hired on January 13, 2014,” Police Chief Steve Dye said at the vigil.
The 38-year-old died Friday morning after he was hit on the President George Bush Turnpike while running traffic enforcement in the area.
He had previously worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. He was also the father to an 11-year-old son.
The investigation into the deadly crash is still under investigation. Authorities said the driver who hit Castaneda did not appear impaired. According to family, the driver is a 17-year-old.