Son of fallen IMPD officer honored at White House Science Fair

Jonathan Bradway (back row, far right) was at the White House Tuesday for the White House Science Fair.
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The son of a fallen IMPD officer was one of several students honored Tuesday at the White House Science Fair.

Jonathan Bradway, a 16-year-old Decatur Central High School student was on the stage as President Barack Obama spoke about the science fair. Bradway's father, IMPD Ofc. Rod Bradway, was shot and killed in the line of duty last September.

Bradway told Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Rader about his idea that won the DuPont Challenge Essay Contest in a telephone interview shortly after the White House ceremony.

"If the laser range finder detects that the jet was, say, 700 feet above the ground and the pilot had not deployed the landing gear yet, the computer would automatically do it," Bradway explained.

"We didn't know what he had done until after he did it. That's when we found out about it. It was like, 'Wow, that is really neat and that is actually doable'," his mom Jamie added.

The phone call telling him that he had won the award and a trip to the White House came just last week. He said he and his mom were both listening on the speakerphone.

"My mind went blank and I thought, is this really happening?" Jonathan said.

The President did go around and talk to all of the kids, but Jonathan said he spent more time with those who had exhibits for demonstration.

It was only eight months ago when Jonathan's father lost his life saving a woman and her infant baby from an armed gunman. The city mourned along with the family.

"Sometime today, were you thinking about your father?" Rader asked.

"Yes, I was. I was wishing he could be here and see this and how much I've grown and the honors I am getting," Jonathan reflected.

His mom said she was thinking about Rod Bradway today, as well, as she looked on.

"I am just beyond proud. I am just ecstatic for him. Yeah, he is an amazing kid," Jamie said during the same phone conversation.

It's been a whirlwind week. The family found out about the trip just last week. DuPont paid the trip expenses, which gave the family another opportunity to visit the Law Enforcement Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.