16 Jul 2020
The process of choosing which career path is right is a process that can take many years. Children and even adults can end up exploring many possibilities until they arrive at the profession they want to go into. For Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Danny Morales, however, his choice of going into some area of law enforcement was something he knew he wanted early in life.
In a recent interview with KGUN Channel 9 in Tucson, Trooper Morales explained that the idea of being a law enforcement officer became even more of a goal at the age of 12. It happened when DPS troopers came to the door of their family home to inform their family that Danny’s older brother, Gabriel, who was 16, had just been killed in a rollover crash.
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According to what DPS had told his family, Danny’s brother Gabriel had been with a group of friends at an area restaurant and were heading back home when their vehicle went off the road, causing the vehicle to roll over. During the course of the rollover accident, Gabriel Morales was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Morales recalls how supportive the DPS troopers were when they came to inform the family of the tragedy. They offered their sympathies and told the family about a support group sponsored by the Arizona DPS that could also lend support. That was what finalized Danny Morales’ decision to become a DPS trooper himself.
Later he learned that his older brother had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. In the state of Arizona, a seatbelt citation is a secondary offense and motorists are only ticketed for it if they have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer for another violation.
In just two months, Trooper Danny Morales has written more than 900 seatbelt citations. It’s the knowledge that a seatbelt could have potentially saved the life of his brother Gabriel that causes Trooper Morales to share his brother’s story with motorists that he cites for seatbelt violations.
“I let them know that I went through it, my brother passed away in a car accident and they wouldn’t wanna put their family through that,” Morales said.
Trooper Morales hopes that the message gained through the story of his personal tragedy will get through to those motorists that he tickets.