Trooper of the Year/Jerry Marx awards
Three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers will be honored at the 31st Annual Trooper of the Year awards luncheon on Wednesday, March 8. The luncheon will be held at Applewoods restaurant located at 4301 S. W. 3rd Street, Oklahoma City. Trooper David W. "Rocky" Eales will receive the heroism award posthumously, and Troopers John M. "Buddy" Hamilton and Patrick W. Fike have also been chosen as 1999 recipients.
Eales was serving as assistant team leader for the OHP East Tactical Team on Sept. 24, 1999, serving felony warrants to a resident in Sequoyah County. As he and Team Leader Hamilton approached the residence, they were met with a spray of bullets. Eales received a fatal wound and died at the scene. Hamilton was shot in one shoulder, and received shrapnel wounds in the other shoulder and his left eye. Although wounded, Hamilton pulled the gunman from his residence and with the help of team members, secured the suspect.
Both troopers will receive the heroism award.
On Jan. 23, 1999, Trooper Pat Fike was attending a basketball game in Buffalo, Oklahoma. Fike was alerted that a fan seated in the bleachers was in need of medical help. Fike responded by performing CPR on the man who was experiencing a heart attack. Two nurses assisted Fike as he continued the procedure while paramedics loaded the man into an ambulance.
The subject began breathing, regained consciousness and was able to live 10 days before his death. Fike will be presented the award for humanitarianism.
Commissioner Bob A. Ricks will present the Jerry Marx Memorial awards for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety to print, radio and television media for excellence in highway and traffic safety reporting. Selections for the Jerry Marx award recipients are made from nominations submitted by OHP personnel.
The luncheon is sponsored by Oklahoma State Troopers Association and the Oklahoma Highway Users Federation.