Police Officer Killed By Drunk Driver
BEAUMONT, TX — A drunk driver caused the death of a police officer and serious injuries to her partner after he crashed into their patrol car.
According to KTXS, Beaumont Police Officer Sheena Yarbrough-Powell, 23, and Officer Gabriel Fells, 28 were traveling north on Highway 69 around t 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
According to police, 18-year-old Luis Torres of Port Arthur was drunk and traveling in the wrong direction with no headlights. Torres then struck the patrol unit head-on.
Officer Fells was driving the patrol car and after being transported to the CHRISTUS Southeast Texas - St. Elizabeth Hospital with severe injuries, he is now in stable condition.
The passenger, Officer Yarbrough-Powell, also sustained severe injuries in the crash. She, unfortunately, succumbed to her injuries at the scene.
Yarbrough-Powell began working with the Beaumont Police Department began on August 13, 2018, as a police cadet. She was sworn in on December 20, 2018
"It’s a sad day for The Beaumont Police Department and the community that our Officers proudly serve,” said Chief Jim Singletary in a statement. “There’s no doubt that it’s an extremely difficult time to be a Police Officer but it’s also an extremely important time. Our Officers and Dispatchers have done a remarkable job during this difficult time but today, we are hurting.”
“The next few days, weeks, months, and years will be difficult for Sheena’s family, both blood and blue but we will get through this together with the help of our community.”
“I would like to say thank you to the State Troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety for responding and leading the investigation of the crash. I would also like the thank the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Lamar P.D. for stepping in and answering our calls for service while most of our Officers were on the scene of the crash.”
“Also, I want to ask our community to not only keep Sheena’s family and the police department in your prayers but Beaumont EMS and Fire Department. Police, Fire, and EMS go hand-in-hand. We are all first responders and our paths cross multiple times throughout our respective shifts. So this loss is hard for them too.”
“We have already started to feel the outpouring of support from the community and it means more than you know. There will be more information released as we plan the services to honor Sheena’s life."
Torres was transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries. A blood specimen was obtained and the results are pending.
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