“He was someone who was always there for you at the drop of a hat,” said Dan Degginger, a close friend of Jackson who’s known him since about fifth grade.
Jackson, a 34-year-old Bellevue police officer, died Monday while on duty, after his motorcycle collided with a car on Bellevue Way Southeast, just south of downtown.
The investigation is ongoing, but it does not appear that the driver of the car was broken or speeding, the Washington State Patrol said.
Jackson joined the Bellevue Police Department in March 2018 and became part of the motorcycle unit two years ago, according to the department.
Jackson worked extensive hours and had a long commute from his home in Cle Elum. But Jackson said the drive allowed him the time to decompress from work so he could be fully present with his family, Degginger said.
No matter how busy he is, he always carves out time to be with his wife and two children or close friends. Kenton Barker recalls how Jackson called him unexpectedly one night to tell him he would take him dinner so they could catch up and hang out.
Jackson had a group chat with some of his closest friends — Barker, Degginger and David Campi — where they talked almost everyday, but the group also kept up consistently on Marco Polo, a video messaging app.
Degginger remembers Jackson was an endless well of support when his son was born and has been in an intensive-care unit for over 100 days. There was never a day where Jackson didn’t check in one way or another with, he said.
A lifelong dreamer, Jackson always had had big plans and aspirations, Degginger said. At one point in his life, Jackson had met some speed skaters and moved to Utah and began practicing to make it to the Olympics, but suffered an injury.
“That really made me proud of him,” he said.
Barker met Jackson when he was 17 and the pair became inseparable.
“He cared about everyone and it was it was more than just like, ‘Hey, how are they doing?’ Parker said.
Jackson had several hobbies, ranging from cycling and snowboarding, to fly-fishing and surfing, his friends recalled.
Campi met Jackson around first grade, he said. He remembers Jackson as a thoughtful and generous person who was always up for an adventure. The pair embarked on a backpacking trip through Alaska’s Denali National Park for about a week in 2015.
Jackson was excited to pass on his hobbies to his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. He’d already started teaching his oldest how to snowboard, Degginger said.
Two GoFundMe fundraising pages were shared online. One for a memorial fund that had raised $42,000 on Wednesday and another to help support Jackson’s wife and two children that had raised $13,000.