By Cox Media Group National Content Desk
HOUSTON – Heartbreaking photos from the funeral of a Texas police officer are putting a spotlight on the devastating effects of drinking and driving.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Pearland police Officer Endy Ekpanya, 30, died June 12 after a suspected drunken driver struck his patrol car. The driver, 38-year-old Amber Willemsen of Friendswood, has been charged with first-degree felony intoxication manslaughter, KTRK reports.
On Tuesday, the Chronicle shared a series of photos on Facebook showing Ekpanya’s young son, Julian, tearfully grieving next to his father’s casket. Ekpanya’s widow and Julian’s mother, Lucy Lugo, quickly rushes to the boy’s side to comfort him.
“Dear drunk drivers, look at what your selfish stupidity has caused,” one person wrote in response to the post. “Not like you care. Hopefully, one day the law will punish you severely.”
“Oh my heart – this did it!” another wrote. “How unfair! Someone’s irresponsibility robbed this baby boy of all the ‘firsts’ his daddy was going to do with him, the celebrations of his accomplishments, getting though his fears and the guidance into his manhood! And this mother – comforting her baby boy when her own heart is shattered into millions of pieces! God Bless them!”
Meanwhile, one critic blasted the news site for posting the images.
“I’m not sure why you guys feel the need to post a picture of this grieving family online, but it’s in poor taste,” she wrote.
Lugo, Julian’s mother, had a different view.
“Honestly please share away,” she wrote on Facebook. “Please think of this before you drink and drive! My son is fatherless and I am without the love of my life … Such a selfish and senseless act.”