Hundreds in Northwest Indiana said their final goodbyes Monday to a correctional officer killed last week in a hit-and-run.
Officer Britney Meux, 25, was struck last Tuesday by an SUV while she jogged with three coworkers in Crown Point. Meux was a former United States Marine and three-year veteran of the force. She died at the scene.
Three others -- David Murchek, 26; Delano Scaife, 22; and Latasha Johnson, 34 -- were seriously injured in the crash.
Meux's funeral began at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 473 Sibley Street, in Hammond. A procession from the church heads toward Cline Street past the Lake County Government Complex near the crash site and then to Ridgetown Cemetery where she will be laid to rest.
The loss of Meux is being felt not just by her immediate family, but by her extended law enforcement family, as well.
"She was irreplaceable to our department," said Niecey Gore, who worked with Meux at the Lake County Jail, steps away from where she was killed. "Britney smiled all the time. She made everybody else feel like everything was OK."
Hundreds of law enforcement officers, not just from Lake County but from across Indiana and as far away as New York and Pennsylvania, arrived to pay their respects.
"When we lose one of our own in law enforcement, it affects us all," said Scott McDaniel of the F.O.P. Memorial Team. "And we want the family to know we understand their pain and we ought to honor their sacrifice and this is just something small we can do to make them feel that appreciation and admiration."
Criminal charges were filed Friday against Jason R. Cozmanoff, 42, who surrendered to police the day after the crash.
Cozmanoff faces one count of failure to stop after an accident resulting in death and three counts of failure to stop after an accident resulting in serious bodily injury. He is being held on $90,000 bond.
Lake County Police said the Savannah Beiley Hardiman Fund has been set up to assist Meux's 5-month-old daughter. Donations can be made at any Centier Bank.