A San Diego police officer was killed in a dirt bike accident in Oregon this past weekend, officials said Wednesday.
Officer Matthew Button was on vacation in Baker City, which is in Eastern Oregon, when he was killed in the accident on Sunday, said San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer.
Button, 38, had been with the San Diego Police Department since 2007. He worked patrol and on the Neighborhood Resource Team in the department’s central division and had just transferred to the northeastern division.
NBC 7 spoke with Button’s wife Wednesday night, who said her husband would be fondly remembered as a family man who put others before himself.
She said Button was a drill instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps and did a tour in Iraq before becoming a San Diego police officer. Button would volunteer to work the police training academy as a drill instructor for new hires.
His wife said he was also recognized by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his DUI enforcement. One year, he arrested more than 75 suspected drunk drivers.
Button had graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Further details on the circumstances surrounding his death weren’t immediately released, though his wife did say Button loved riding his dirt bike and it was an activity he did with his wife and two sons.
SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman expressed her condolences for Button’s family and said the department was mourning the tragic loss of one of their own.
"We were all devastated to hear the news. So saddened – [it was] tragic to hear the news about our officer who was killed in an off-duty accident. Our hearts and sympathy goes out to his family, to all his friends, to our police department,” said the chief.
In death, Button will continue to help others.
His wife told NBC 7 that the officer’s corneas will be donated to help two blind patients. Several ventricles and arteries from his heart will also be donated to patients in need.