Tolar grad, police officer Castaneda killed in crash
Grand Prairie police officer and Tolar High School graduate Albert “A.J.” Castaneda died at the age of 38 Friday after being struck by a car while on foot during his patrol on the President George Bush Turnpike.
Castaneda, graduated in 1999 from THS. He joined the Grand Prairie force in 2014 after working six years at the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and spending eight years in the Coast Guard, according to WFAA.
Tolar Superintendent Travis Stilwell was an assistant coach with the Rattlers when Castaneda played offensive and defensive line.
“A.J. was a good student, a very polite young man.,” Stilwell said. “I really liked him. I remember him well as a kid.”
Stilwell said he had lost touch with Castaneda, but said it was no surprise his former player went in law enforcement.
“I’m proud that he chose to be in law enforcement and serve the people. It really makes me sad to have lost him.”
Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye also had high praise for Castaneda, according to WFAA.
“He was a friend, a trusted colleague, an outstanding officer who had a work ethic second to none,” Dye said.
Castaneda reportedly leaves behind an 11-year-old son.