By Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily
A former University of Wyoming women’s soccer player and police officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department died in an off-duty crash Thursday.
Sgt. Meagan Burke, 31, was driving north on Interstate 44 through Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, when a southbound vehicle swerved, jumped the guardrail and hit Burke head-on, the OCPD reports. She died at the scene.
Before pursuing a career in law enforcement, Burke was a three-year member of the UW women’s soccer program from 2009-11. She was one of seven standout high school players who signed national letters of intent to play for the Cowboys in February 2009.
Road to UW
A 2009 graduate of Green Mountain High School in Lakewood, Colorado, Burke was a member of a pair of Puerto Rico national teams prior to attending UW, according to a Feb. 2, 2005, university press release announcing her signing.
She was a goalkeeper for the Cowboys for her first three years of college soccer, then transferred and started between the pipes for the University of Central Oklahoma as a senior in 2012.
“We are deeply saddened about the passing of former Cowgirl soccer player, Meagan Burke,” the UW Cowgirl soccer program tweeted in response to the fatal crash. “She played for Wyoming from 2009-11 before pursuing a career in law enforcement.
“Her and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.”
Mike Cook has been the University of Central Oklahoma women’s soccer coach for 25 years and said he and the program are saddened by the news of Burke’s death.
“It’s not the kind of news you want to hear. It’s obviously tough losing someone you coached and because of the quality person she was,” Cook told Cowboy State Daily, adding she was an “example of what a true student-athlete is.”
Cook said it “was definitely no surprise” Burke chose to make law enforcement her career.
“She was always driven, very disciplined,” he said. “Even if we were up four or five goals, she never wanted to come out of a game.”
A tribute for Officer Burke has been growing at the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Santa Fe Division, where Burke was stationed. Her patrol car has been covered with messages of sympathy and flowers.