5-8-07 - A police officer critically injured in the Greensburg tornado has died after being taken off life support early today.
Robert Tim Buckman, a 46-year-old officer from nearby Macksville,
suffered a head injury in Friday's storm that left nine others dead in Greensburg. Buckman's son Derick tells the Associated Press that his father was declared dead shortly before 8am today.
Derick Buckman said his father "was sworn to protect people and that's what he was doing the night he got picked up by a tornado."
Buckman's son-in-law, who is a soldier stationed in Georgia, says he's been granted leave to attend the funeral.
The 22-year-old Army private-first-class had been scheduled to
ship out to Iraq with his unit today. He said his commanders at Fort Stewart had refused him leave Monday. But today he said his battalion commander gave him the news.
He doesn't know how much time he'll have in Kansas before heading to Iraq. He said he will at least have time to attend his father-in-law's funeral, along with his wife and their three young daughters.
Buckman's death adds more heartbreak for residents as they continue to salvage what's left of their flattened town. The death toll from the Greensburg tornado now stands at ten.
In the final hours of his life, officer Buckman was able to symbolically give away his 18-year-old daughter in a marriage ceremony at his bedside. Derick Buckman said the family's hometown preacher officiated at the ceremony for Kylee Buckman and her boyfriend, Josh Mondello, Derick's best friend.
A fund has been set up. Donations can be taken to St. John National Bank, located at 116 E. 3rd St. in St. John. You can also call (620) 549-3225.