Thomas K. Byrd
Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) Thomas K. Byrd was struck by an eastbound vehicle at about 5:00 p.m. on the afternoon of November 21, 1983, when the motorcycle on which he was a passenger, lost control. The owner and driver of the motorcycle, Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) James Hearne, was unable to see a vehicle making a left hand turn as he and Agent Byrd left the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to drop off a payment for class T-shirts that had been promised to the vendor by close of business on that date. Apparently, when Agents Hearne and Byrd left the training center, the sun was positioned in front of them in such a manner as to make visibility very difficult. When Agent Hearne realized that a vehicle in front of him was about to make a stop (or turn), it was too late to make a safe stop. Agent Hearne made a correction to the left side of the vehicle in an effort to avoid hitting but lost control of the motorcycle in the attempt. The motorcycle fell to the ground throwing Agent Hearne clear out of the path of the oncoming traffic. Agent Byrd, however, was struck by a vehicle in the oncoming traffic and dragged for some distance. Agent Byrd was rushed to Brunswick Memorial Hospital by ambulance where all efforts to save him failed. Both Agents Byrd and Hearne were attending the 151st Session of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, Glynco, Georgia, when the accident occurred. Border Patrol Agent (Trainee) Byrd was a high academic achiever and was regarded with high esteem by the members of his class.