Sheriff Clarke holds back tears when discussing Deputy Aleman's death

CREATED Aug 1, 2012 - UPDATED: Aug 1, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff's Deputy Sergio Aleman died Tuesday after crashing his department vehicle into the back of a flatbed truck, Sheriff David Clarke said in a news conference Wednesday.

"Deputy Aleman surrendered his life in a two-car crash on southbound Interstate 43 at Fond du Lac Avenue," Sheriff Clarke explained while choking back tears.  "He was driving southbound in lane three, which is the right-most lane, as he approached an area of traffic congestion.  Deputy Aleman crashed into the rear of a flatbed towing truck...that slowed due to congestion in the Marquette Interchange."

"In the impact of the crash, the flatbed portion of the tow truck tore into the driver's compartment of Deputy Sheriff Aleman's squad and he suffered catastrophic injuries."

Aleman was transported to Froedtert Hospital, where he was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon.

"While the initial investigation of this sad and deadly crash does not at this time appear to constitute a criminal investigation, I remind all of our citizens that the life of a freeway patrolman is one of great danger.  The expressway system is a deadly and unforgiving beat for a cop to patrol," Sheriff Clarke added.

Deputy Aleman was an 18-year veteran of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and leaves behind a wife and five children, who range in age from six to 22.

TODAY'S TMJ4 reports he a Navy veteran and a graduate of Bay View High School.

Barb Burger can't believe her friend and neigbor Sergio Aleman is gone.

"He was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful man," said Burger to TODAY'S TMJ4.  "He's just a sweet heart. I dont know how to say it any different, he's a sweet heart."

The Milwaukee Deputy Sheriff's Association has set up a trust for Aleman’s Family.

Donations can be made to the “Sergio Aleman Memorial Fund” at any M&I Bank, a part of BMO Financial Group Branch.  All proceeds go directly to Deputy Aleman’s family.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has set up a separate memorial fund for Aleman as well.

Donations can be made at any Tri-City National Bank for "Deputy Sergio Aleman Memorial Fund."