Vermont police officer, 19, dies in crash with burglary suspect she was chasing

Rutland City Police Officer Jessica Ebbighausen was killed on Friday afternoon

Via AP news wire
Sunday 09 July 2023 18:12 BST
This photo provided by Vermont State Police shows Rutland City Police Officer Jessica Ebbighausen
This photo provided by Vermont State Police shows Rutland City Police Officer Jessica Ebbighausen (AP)

A Vermont police officer was killed and two other officers were injured when a burglary suspect crashed into two police cruisers pursuing him, Vermont State Police said.

Rutland City Police Officer Jessica Ebbighausen, 19, was killed on Friday afternoon. The crash happened as police chased a vehicle driven by Tate Rheaume, 20, a suspect in an attempted break-in at a house, state police said.

Evidence indicates that Mr Rheaume crossed the centerline and collided head-on with Ebbighausen's cruiser, police said. The suspect's truck also hit another police cruiser.

Ebbighausen was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other officers and Mr Rheaume were taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center for what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Mr Rheaume was transferred to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Rheaume is now facing charges of grossly negligent operation and attempting to elude, both with death resulting. Additional charges are possible, state police said. It was not immediately known if he is being represented by an attorney.

Ebbighausen, of Ira, Vermont, started working with the Rutland Police Department in May as a part-time officer, state police said. She was scheduled to start training in August at the Vermont Police Academy to become a full-time officer, police said.

After an autopsy was completed on Saturday, nearly three dozen law-enforcement officers and first responders escorted Ebbighausen’s body in a procession from the medical examiner’s office in Burlington back to Rutland, state police said.

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