An off-duty Ashland, Neb., police officer killed in a motorcycle collision was remembered Wedneday as a dedicated professional proud of his service.
Officer Daniel Ottis, 58, a 10-year veteran of Ashland's force, died Tuesday at the accident scene in Sarpy County, between Gretna and Ashland. Services will be Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ashland.
Saunders County Attorney Scott Tingelhoff said Wednesday that Ottis' death is being felt throughout law enforcement agencies in eastern Nebraska. Ottis had 35 years of law enforcement experience after previously serving with the Dodge County Sheriff's Office and the Bennington Police Department.
His son, Eric Ottis, was a Bennington reserve police officer when he died in a traffic collision in 2002.
“Dan spent a lot of time in law enforcement and was very well-known and a dedicated professional,” Tingelhoff said. “To have him and his son lose their lives in traffic accidents is very tragic for his family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.”
The Nebraska State Patrol is investigating the crash at 234th Street and U.S. Highway 6.
Deb Collins, a spokeswoman for the patrol, said an eastbound 1994 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Michael Tasler, 59, of Gretna, was stopped on the highway, trying to turn left, when it was struck from behind by another pickup. The other pickup was a 2002 GMC Sierra driven by Shawn M. Stryker, 23, of Ashland.
The impact pushed Tasler's pickup into the west lane, where it collided with Ottis' westbound motorcycle about 5:45 p.m.
Collins said no tickets had been issued, but the collision was still under investigation. Court records show that Stryker pleaded guilty in 2005 and 2009 to following another vehicle too closely.
Ashland Police Chief Mark Powell said Ottis was an avid motorcycle rider, a certified firearms instructor and a member of both the Blue Knights and the Patriot Guard Riders. The Blue Knights is a law enforcement motorcycle club. Patriot Guard Riders attend the funerals of military members to show their respect and to protect mourners from protesters.
Ottis is survived by his parents, Anthony and Johanna Ottis of Wahoo; daughters, Shellie Ottis and Anne Kucera, of Lincoln; sisters, Velma Bohaty of Wahoo and Rita Foster of Gothenburg; and brother, Tom Ottis, of North Platte.
World-Herald staff writer Susan Szalewski contributed to this report.
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