Conway Police Officer William McGary. (Photo: Conway Police Dept.)
SEARCY, Ark. (KTHV)- Funeral services commenced Wednesday for a Conway police officer killed in the line of duty.
William McGary was directing traffic around an accident on Thursday when a driver crashed into his patrol car. Authorities said the 26-year-old died from his injuries on Friday afternoon at a Little Rock hospital.
Hundreds of heavy hearts filled Valley Baptist Church on Wednesday, mourning the loss Conway Police Officer Will McGary.
"Although at 26 years old, very young, he has touched more people in 26 years than most people have touched in 86 years," said McGary's long time Pastor, James Hays.
McGary grew up in Searcy, graduating high school in 2005. He became a police officer for Conway PD in June of 2011.
Hundreds of police officers and sheriff's deputies from across the state gathered to pay their respects. Attorney General and former police officer Dustin McDaniel said those that work in law enforcement are a family.
"When one in our family suffers, we all suffer. When one of our family is lost, we all feel that loss. When one hurts, we all hurt," said McDaniel. "Will and I are brothers and I've come here today, all of us have come here today to mourn the loss of one of our brothers."
Conway Police Chief A.J. Gary said there has not been a moment since the accident last Thursday on Dave Ward Drive when officers were not with McGary or his family. His closest friends at CPD spent the night in the hospital with McGary Thursday and eventually escorted his body home to Searcy on Monday.
On Wednesday, all 107 Conway Police Officers along with dispatchers and officer personnel attended McGary's funeral.
"Will was only with our department for a short time, less than a couple of years. But in that time, he made a huge impact on our agency and our community," said Gary. "Will was always asking questions. He always wanted to know what he needed to know. He was like a sponge, he just soaked up everything around him. He did his job well."
McGary's funeral service was followed by a graveside service at a cemetery in Romance.
McGary was born Nov. 20, 1986, in Heber Springs. According to his obituary, he was a passionate Razorbacks fan and enjoyed hunting, fishing, grilling and racing.