A Texas police officer died Sunday evening in an interstate crash while on her way to a “Crimes Against Children” conference.
Elise Ybarra, 33, was driving an unmarked vehicle with two other detectives, Chris Milliorn and Robert Collins. Ybarra was driving through slow traffic behind a crash on Interstate 10 around 6:15 p.m. when her vehicle was struck by a white Chevrolet pick-up truck. She died at the scene, according to the Abilene Reporter-News.
Milliorn and Collins were both taken to Hendrick Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries and are expected to recover.
The condition of the truck driver was not released.
Ybarra started in law enforcement in the Sedalia Police Department in Missouri. She was sworn into the Abilene Police Department in 2014. In December 2016, the detective transferred to the Special Victims Unit as a Child Abuse Investigator.
All three in the vehicle were members of the Special Victims Unit, which was created in 2010-2011, and consisted of seven detectives. APD Chief Stan Standridge said in a new conference later Sunday evening that Ybarra died in the line of duty, the seventh in the department’s history.
“She cared enough about our city that she went through our academy. She is a person who landed with both feet firmly planted in this department.”
Standridge said that both the unit as well as Child Protective Services “is going to feel the loss of Elise.” He also said the department lost motorcycle officer Rodney Holder in April 2010.
“We have buried too many officers even since I’ve been police chief.”
City Manager Robert Hanna said that Ybarra’s name was added to Abilene’s roll of honor. He said that Ybarra served the department and the city with “honor and integrity.”
Ybarra is survived by her husband of eight years, Adam Ybarra, and the couple’s 10-month-old daughter.
The Texas Department of Public Safety will investigate the wreck, reports NBCDFW.
[Feature Photo: Abilene Police Department]