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McAlester police officer dies after Friday night crash

PHOTO: Joseph Lee Barlow
Posted at 8:12 PM, Mar 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 09:04:48-04

MCALESTER, Okla. — McAlester police announced Patrolman Joseph Barlow died on Monday after being injured in a crash on Friday night.

It is with immense sadness that the McAlester Police Department announces the tragic loss of Patrolman Joseph Barlow. Barlow was involved in a head on collision on March 17, 2023 while escorting the late Captain Richard Parker from Tulsa to Wetumka. Unfortunately, he has succumbed to his injuries and passed Monday, March 20, 2023 surrounded by many family, friends and local law enforcement officers. Barlow served not only his nation in the United States Army, but his community of McAlester with great pride. We ask that you keep officer Barlow’s friends, family, and community in your thoughts as they grieve this great loss and continue to cope recently tragedies.

The McAlester Police Department asked for prayers as Barlow was treated at a Tulsa hospital. Unfortunately he died from his injuries.

The city of McAlester, while not small, is very tight knit. Especially with the first responders. And as one lays in a hospital bed, they’re asking for a miracle.

“I’ve lost two in the last year and one needs some prayers big time,” said Officer Colby Barnett.

The McAlester Police Department is no stranger to tragedy. Losing officer Danny Kelley last year to covid, and en route to bury their brother Captain Richard Parker Friday, tragedy struck again when a truck hit Barlow’s cruiser head on.

“This isn’t fair in all honesty. The kid had a heart of gold and we need a miracle,” said Barnett.

And a miracle is what dozens of first responders and members of the community prayed for Saturday afternoon on the police department steps. And those who call Barlow a friend, colleague or brother, are hit just as hard by his absence.

“Our guys and gals are all out working incidents at all times but it does hit a little closer to home when it’s one of ours,” said McAlester Fire Chief, Brett Brewer.

Not a dry eye could be seen at Saturday’s meeting as strangers and friends came together to pray for Barlow. And for his brothers in uniform, this is especially devastating.

“Buddy if I could have you back right now, it’d mean the world,” said Barnett.

The driver, Martin Rodriguez Rivas remains in police custody after being booked on complaints of driving illegally while causing great bodily harm and driving without a license.

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