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Hundreds attend Celebration of Life service for MPD officer – thousands attended viewings

Driving toward the Pennsylvania border on W.Va. 43 felt different Friday morning. Nearly a week ago, at around 3 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, the road was the scene of a single-vehicle accident that took the life of Morgantown Police Officer Zane Breakiron, 34, as he was heading back to his home in Uniontown. 

Hundreds of fellow law enforcement officers from all over West Virginia likely drove past the accident scene that claimed their brother as they made their way to a Celebration of Life at Abundant Life Church in Uniontown. 

Along with those in uniform, hundreds more attended the service at the Brownfield Road church to say their final goodbyes to Breakiron – so many in fact, some watched the service from televisions in rooms outside the sanctuary, which was standing room only. 

A friend of Breakiron’s told the Dominion Post earlier this week that “he spread nothing but love to everyone.” The extremely large crowd at the service was a testament to how far that love had spread. During the two days prior to Friday’s Celebration of Life, over 4,000 people came to viewing services for the officer who many said had an infectious smile, lit up every room he walked into, and truly touched the lives of those who knew him in so many ways.  

His father, Dr. Garret Breakiron, said at one point it was suggested they cut off the line due to the number of people waiting. For him and his wife Mindi however, the large crowds showed the impact their son had on so many and turning people away was not an option, telling the crowd they would have stayed until midnight to make sure everyone got through the line. 

The grieving father, who said he lost a workout partner, hunting buddy and friend, reminisced about some of his favorite memories with his son and spoke of the love and support the family has received from Zane’s fellow MPD officers – two of whom shared stories about the qualities made Breakiron a fantastic police officer and K-9 handler to his dogs Neo and Rusty. These attributes boiled down to compassion and a need to help and support others – and the will and ability to follow through. 

During an emotional moment following the service, Zane’s parents were presented with the American flag that had been draped over his casket, folded by members of the Morgantown Police Department, and given to them by Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell. 

At 10 a.m., when the service began, an end-of-watch call went out over the scanner in honor of the fallen officer. A second was heard as the long line of police cruisers pulled out of the church parking lot. 

Over 60 law enforcement vehicles with lights flashing, many with thin blue lines across their coat of arms, escorted the hearse carrying their fellow officer from the church to The Summit off of U.S. 40.  

The majority of the officers, of course, came from the Morgantown Police Department, but representatives of the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police, Preston County Sheriff’s Department, Westover PD, Star City PD, West Virginia University PD, Shinnston PD, Bridgeport PD, Charleston PD, Fayette and Greene County Sheriff’s Departments from Pennsylvania, as well as others were also there to support MPD and the Breakiron family.  The Morgantown Fire Department and Mon EMS also had several personnel with vehicles in attendance. 

It is still unclear what caused Breakiron’s accident last Saturday, but it is being investigated by the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department. The Breakiron family asks that anyone wishing to honor Zane send donations to WV Law Enforcement Police K9 Fund at