Off-duty officer killed helping driver involved in car crash
SEATTLE (KOMO) - An off-duty officer in Seattle who stopped to help those involved in a three-car crash was herself hit and killed by a car. The fallen officer’s personal car was then stolen, and police are searching for the thief.
Seattle Police Officer Alexandra “Lexi” Harris, 38, was driving home around 1:20 a.m. Sunday after her shift when she stopped to help one of the drivers involved in a three-car collision on Interstate 5.
Just moments later, she was struck and killed by another car, one that wasn’t involved in the initial crash.
“To lose anybody in this manner would be devastating, but when it’s somebody committed to public safety, trying to do the right thing when they could’ve kept going,” said Capt. Ron Mead with the Washington State Police. “And just the suddenness of it, to lose somebody that officers had just been working a shift with and to suddenly have them gone, it’s very difficult.”
State police say the driver who struck Harris stayed on the scene and was cooperative with authorities. They have not been arrested.
But as officers responded to calls for own of their own, someone involved in the crash stole Harris’ personal vehicle. It was later recovered, but the thief has not been found.
Harris was a five-year veteran of SPD and was also on the department’s wellness bureau, helping fellow officers cope with mental and physical issues. Police are working to determine whether her death will be classified as a “line of duty death.”
The crash Harris stopped at is believed to have been the result of a 13-car crash more than an hour earlier in the southbound lanes of I-5.
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