Photo of fallen officer Robert Bingaman. (Provided by Asheville Police)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -
The family of an Asheville police officer who died when his patrol car plummeted off a bridge has released a statement in the wake of his death.
Robert Bingaman's family wanted to say thank you for the gratitude and condolences sent their way after his car went off the Jeff Bowen Bridge on Interstate 240 westbound near mile marker 3 around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday.
"We, the family of Senior Police Officer Robert A. Bingaman, would to express our deepest gratitude to the Asheville Police Department and the city of Asheville for their loving assistance and generosity towards our family and friends. We also would like to express gratitude to the Asheville community, in which Robert loved so much, for their loving prayers and condolences. Robert loved what he did and he was doing what he loved to do when the Lord called him home.
"Robert served proudly as a sergeant in the Marines, serving two floats in the Mediterranean and South America. Robert was proud of his accomplishments at the Asheville Police Department. He loved his traffic team members and his radar. Robert was a role model to his younger siblings, not only as a kid at heart, but as a source of strength and guidance. Robert was a loving provider for his wife and three daughters. From all of his family and friends, Semper Fi."
In an emotional news conference Tuesday afternoon, Asheville Police Chief William J. Anderson said Bingaman served for six years with the Asheville Police Department.
"This is a great loss for our department, the city of Asheville and our community," said Anderson. "He paid the ultimate sacrifice."
Anderson said he could not say whether Bingaman was on his way to a call at the time of the wreck, but that he always "came to work and did his job, and he did it well."
The funeral for Bingaman is scheduled for 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 4 at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Rd., Asheville. The funeral will be followed by a burial at Western NC State Veteran's Cemetery in Black Mountain, according to the website for Morris Funeral Home.
Trooper Gene Williamson with North Carolina Highway Patrol said an accident reconstruction team is interviewing witnesses and examining the car as part of the investigation.
Flags were flown at half-staff in Asheville in honor of the fallen officer.
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