DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - The Atlanta Police Department is mourning one of its officers killed in a Monday night wreck.
Channel 2's Linda Stouffer has learned 38-year-old APD Officer Ryan Adrian Baird was driving on a curve when he lost control of his Jeep Cherokee and hit a tree. Georgia State Patrol officers said the accident happened at about 6:30 p.m. near Mann and Stockmar roads in Villa Rica.
Baird had been assigned to the airport section of APD's community service division.
Friends said Baird has three children, and with the family's permission, his teenage daughter talked about accomplishing his dream of becoming a police officer. She said graduating from the police academy was the happiest moments of his life.
"It was the happiest moment of our lives because he was very happy, and I was happy and I was very proud of him because he came a long way," said Ryana Baird.
Loved ones are shocked by Baird's death.
"I couldn't believe it. I still don't believe it. When I woke up this morning, I thought it was a dream. (I) wish it was a dream but it's not," said the officer's friend Greg Walker.
APD Major Lane Hagin told Channel 2's Ryan Young that everyone wanted a chance to work with Baird, who always had a smile on his face.
Baird's daughter said she can't imagine life without him.
"I love him so much and this is the hardest time for our family," she said.
Baird's wake will be held Oct. 11 at Murray Brothers Funeral Home in southwest Atlanta from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. His funeral is Oct. 12 at Big Bethel AME Church. Service starts at 11 a.m.