Officer Hector Ayala was 31 years old when he was killed in a car accident.
UPDATE: The address to send donations to the Ayala family is FOP Lodge 35, 18512 Office Park Drive, Montgomery Village, MD 20886.
By Elliot Francis
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is ordering state flags to be flown at half staff this week in honor of the Montgomery County officer killed in a car accident.
Officer Hector Ayala worked out of 4th district headquarters in Wheaton, Maryland. The station is just a couple of blocks from the wooded curb where his cruiser struck a tree killing him Sunday morning.
"It's kind of hard to put it into words, he was a great person," says Officer Phil Meyer.
Meyer and Ayala worked the midnight shift together here at 4 D. He says Ayala who spoke Spanish, was always quick to help, sometimes putting in extra hours as a translator for other officers.
Officer Nancy Demme says, in fact, Ayala was responding to an officer in need call when the accident occurred.
"...he died doing that, he died trying to assist another officer. He wanted to be there to help and keep anybody from being hurt. We're going to miss him," says Demme.
The 7-year veteran of the department was married and a father of a 14-month old boy. Ayala's wife is expecting triplets in approximately two months. In spite of a busy family life, Ayala still found time to guide younger officers, like Doug Barros.
"There were times when I had investigations to run and I would call him up and he would guide me through a lot of things so, I lost a friend I lost a mentor," says Barros, choking back tears.
A funeral service is planned for Friday.