KILGORE, TEXAS (KYTX) An east Texas police academy instructor is killed in a motorcycle crash this morning. DPS says Les Ferguson died when his motorcycle was hit by an SUV on Highway 31 just north of I-20.
Les Ferguson had been a police instructor at the academy since 1990. Everyone who went through this academy was taught by Ferguson. He clearly had a big impact on law enforcement through-out east Texas.
"We are all devastated," says fellow instructor Mike Fennel.
The news of Les Ferguson's sudden death spread through the law enforcement community quickly. Wednesday his students and co-workers took a moment to remember their respected friend. "There's probably thousands and thousands of law enforcement officers who went through his classes and a lot of Longview firefighters just went and got their peace officers certificate and they went through. He knew everybody," says Mike.
Investigators believe Ferguson was on his way to work when the accident happened. Retired Longview chief, JB McCaleb was one of many friends who gathered with his family at Good Shepherd. "Of course they're in shock at the loss and we all feel for them. It was a great loss for them and a great loss for law enforcement and a great loss for the community," says McCaleb. "He's taught so many law enforcement officers in this area. He's had an impact on a lot of people and even helped start their careers."
His fellow instructors say they'll always remember Les for his love of his motorcycle and for his respect for law enforcement. He taught everything from target shooting to self defense. "He was a very caring man. A very loving man and he was a great father. He liked to joke around. He liked to play pranks on fireman and of course we played the pranks back on him," says Mike.
"We're family over here. Kilgore College is just one big family. When one hurts we all hurt," says Mike.
Les Ferguson's brother, Michael,is also an instructor here. His death is clearly being felt here at the police academy.
DPS says it appears both Ferguson and the SUV were going south on highway 31 when the SUV moved into Ferguson's lane. The crash is still under investigation and so far no charges have been filed.
The driver of that SUV was not hurt in the crash. No word yet on funeral arrangements for Les Ferguson.
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