Wayzata Honors Officer William Mathews at J.J. Hill Days Parade

September 10, 2017 11:27 PM

The city of Wayzata on Sunday paid tribute to police officer William Mathews following his death in the line of duty on Friday.

People stood in appreciation and some wiped away tears as a banner bearing Mathews' name passed by in Wayzata's annual J.J. Hill Days parade.


Each member of Wayzata's Police Department marched shoulder-to-shoulder in the parade led by the department's squad cars.

RELATED: Funeral Preparations Begin For Fallen Wayzata Officer

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox said he was a friend of Mathews' and had ridden along in the officer's squad car on several occasions to better understand the work police do on patrol.

"He was a great man, husband and father, and he was a superb officer and this is just a tough, tough day for Wayzata and we are going to miss him," Willcox said.

RELATED: Driver Suspected of Hitting, Killing Wayzata Officer had License Revoked

The city plans to honor Mathews with a memorial next to City Hall, Willcox said. The City Council will take official action to approve the project as soon as possible.

"The last officer who died on the job in Wayzata was 35 years ago, and now we will add officer Mathews to the same memorial and have it overlooking the city," Willcox said.

RELATED: Community, Police Help Wayzata Heal After Officer's Death

Mathews was struck and killed by a woman driving a car on U.S. Hwy. 12 as he was picking up debris off the road. The woman has not been charged in the fatal crash, but a review of the incident is underway by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. Charges could come this week if prosecutors think there is enough evidence to prove a crime was committed. 

Investigators said the woman driving the vehicle, Beth Freeman, did not have a valid Minnesota driver's license.


Jay Kolls

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