19-year-old Vermont cop in training dies during high-speed chase with suspect
2023/07/09

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A 19-year-old Vermont cop was killed and two other officers injured when a burglary suspect crashed into their police cruisers while they pursued him.

Rookie Rutland City Police Officer Jessica Ebbighausen died Friday afternoon as she and other cops chased a truck being driven by Tate Rheaume, 20, who had tried to break into a house, Vermont State Police said.

Rheaume's vehicle apparently crossed the center line of the road and collided head-on with Ebbighausen's cruiser. The truck then hit into another police car.

Ebbighausen was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 19-year-old began working as a part-time officer at the department in May and was set to begin her full-time training at the Vermont Police Academy in August.

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"We're hurting right now," Rutland City Police Chief Brian Kilcullen said Friday, according to the Rutland Herald.

Ebbighausen had dreamed of becoming a police officer since she was 9 years old and had completed an internship with the department during high school, Kilcullen said.

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"She always had a smile on her face," Kilcullen said. "We were looking forward to having her as part of our family.

"I'm here today to mourn, really, the loss of a family member," he said. "The state police are conducting the investigation. At some point, we'll review everything."

The two hurt officers were taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

State police said speed and substance abuse were being looked into as factors in the crash. They could immediately not say if there were open criminal cases against Rheaume or what charges he might face.

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