BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Mount Vernon Police Chief Duncan Herrington confirmed Officer Ivan Lopez, a 12-year law enforcement veteran, was the officer killed in a crash on Highway 59 at County Road 36 Monday night.

Lopez was heading home from work when a pickup truck flew threw a stop sign and hit Lopez’s vehicle and killed him on impact.

A procession to bring Lopez’s body from the Baldwin County Coroner’s Office in Robertsdale to the Alabama Dept. of Forensic Sciences in Mobile took place Tuesday afternoon.

Chief Herrington expressed his “heavy heart” in a written release about Lopez’s passing. According to Herrington, the Mount Vernon community and police department are a “very close knit group,” and “[they] have lost one of our own.”

“I would personally like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Chief Brock and all of the Summerdale Police Officers and First Responders,” said Herrington. “The care and concern these folks handled the scene with would have made all of our Law Enforcement Family proud.”

Herrington thanked Sheriff Mack and the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office as well. According to Herrington, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Mack has been “instrumental in coordinating the efforts to pay honor and respect to Officer Lopez and his family.”

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Foley, Robertsdale, Mobile and Mobile County Sheriff’s Office have “begun assisting Mount Vernon and Officer Lopez’s family.” FBI Mobile and “many other agencies” in surrounding counties have reached out to offer assistance as well.

Officer Lopez is a 12 year veteran of Law Enforcement and had found his niche in Mount Vernon. He loved the community and the community loved him. Officer Lopez will not be able to be replaced due to his efforts to make Mount Vernon Police Department better for our citizens. His love of people was evident and his heart of service was extraordinary!  

Duncan Herrington, Mount Vernon Police Chief

According to Herrington, arrangements have not been made yet, but details will be released as soon as they are made. The Summerdale Police Department and Chief Brock are handling the traffic investigation. The department will not be releasing any details to the case as it is still an ongoing investigation with the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office.

“We never heal from these situations, we simply have to learn a new way to live,” said Herrington. “Officer Lopez embodied what it meant to be a social service worker with a heart for people and animals. Therefore, if I could express anything positive out of this tragedy, it would be to learn from the example Officer Lopez set by his love of others.”

Mount Vernon Councilwoman Charlene Coleman offered a statement in regard to Officer Lopez at town hall Tuesday afternoon.

“He was a fine friendly person an awesome officer and he reached out to the community daily on his job and the community loved him and he will be sorely missed,” said Coleman with tears in her eyes.