Police officer dies in crash


BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (KMOV.com) — St. Louis County Police Officer Antonio Valentine died from a crash Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Kenneth Gregory said in a press conference.

Antonio Valentine died Wednesday after a crash in Bellefontaine Neighbors.

Valentine and another officer were rushed to the hospital after the crash Wednesday around 2:30 p.m. at Crete and Chambers. St. Louis County police said a civilian involved in the crash died after being taken to the hospital. The other officer involved in the crash was treated at a hospital then released, Gregory said. 

Valentine, 42, had worked for the St. Louis County Police Department since 2007. He was recently assigned to the Bureau of Drug Enforcement.

Valentine had four children ages 10-22. 

“What I ask of you all now is grieve with us, support us, support the family for all they’re going through,” Chief Gregory said. 

Valentine served in the U.S. Army, National Guard and Air Force. He served in active combat in Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. 

“The community lost a good soul today and something just tragic and senseless,” Sam Durbin, a former Air Force colleague of Valentine’s, said. “He knew every day he put that uniform on that something like that could happen and unfortunately today was that day.”

Antonio Valentine, who was killed in the line of duty Wednesday, retired from the Air Force and worked with the St. Louis County Police Department since 2007.

Preliminary investigation revealed that drug unit detectives were attempting to stop a black Volkswagen Jetta when the driver of that vehicle sped up on Chambers Road, police said. Valentine and another detective responded to the area from the opposite direction the suspect’s car was going.

The driver, 33-year-old Alfred Mayes, continued speeding, police said, when the car crashed with Valentine’s vehicle at the intersection of Crete Drive and Chambers Road. Mayes was taken to the hospital where he later died.

First responders attempted lifesaving procedures on Valentine at the scene. The officer was later pronounced dead at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. 

Two officers and one other person were taken to the hospital after the crash happened Wednesday afternoon.

A witness described the sounds he heard to News 4 after the crash.

“Similar to fireworks on the 4th of July,” the witness said. “This was real loud.”

BackStoppers announced on Twitter that they will be assisting Officer Valentine’s family. The organization provides financial assistance to families of fallen first responders. 

Valentine had children, Backstoppers said in a statement. 

“Our hearts are heavy as we face another tragedy in our community,” Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director, said in the statement. “Officer Antonio Valentine was a dedicated public servant and a brave officer. We will honor his legacy. My deepest condolences and prayers are with the family of Officer Valentine.” 

Anyone who wants to donate to BackStoppers can find information here.

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