SEATTLE — A police officer in Seattle lost his life early Sunday while assisting with a crash on the Interstate, according to authorities.
The officer, who had just gotten off his shift, was outside his vehicle assisting with a three-car collision when he was fatally struck by an additional motorist, according to the Seattle Police Department Blotter.
Speaking during a press conference, Assistant Chief Tom Mahaffey said the officer was trying to render aid when he was killed on Sunday, Seattle Times reported.
Mahaffey said the family of the deceased officer, who served in SPD for five years, and the police department were devastated by the tragedy. The officer was not immediately identified at the family’s request.
The driver who struck the officer remained at the collision scene and is cooperating with the Washington State Patrol, which is leading the investigation, WSP Capt. Ron Mead said.
However, Mead also announced that law enforcement authorities are searching for a suspect who subsequently stole the deceased officer’s privately owned vehicle from the location, msn.com reported.
“It really speaks to where we are as a society, where we have such callousness when it comes to loss of life,” Mead said during Sunday afternoon’s press conference.
The three-car collision preceding the officer’s death occurred at approximately 1:18 a.m. on Sunday in the backup of an earlier 10- to 13-car crash, which resulted in no injuries, authorities said.
Seattle police said additional details would be released when they become available.
UPDATE: Alexandra “Lexi” Harris, 38, was identified as the officer killed in the traffic fatality.