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19-Year-Old Police Officer Killed in Car Chase, Suspect Captured and Facing Serious Charges

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A Vermont burglary suspect who led police on a high-speed chase and crashed his truck into two police cruisers, killing a 19-year-old officer and injuring two others, will be arraigned Monday on charges related to the crash, state police said.

Tate Rheaume, 20, is 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.

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

Evidence indicates that Rheaume crossed the center line and collided head-on with the Ebbighausen’s cruiser, police said. The suspect’s truck also hit another police cruiser. Ebbighausen and another officer riding in the passenger’s seat were not wearing seat belts, state police said.

Ebbighausen was pronounced dead at the scene. The two other officers and Rheaume were taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center with injuries, police said. Rheaume was transferred to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, where he was listed in serious but stable condition on Saturday afternoon, police said. One officer was released from the Rutland hospital on Friday, and the other was released Saturday.

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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. Ebbighausen was a part-time Rutland City officer since May and was scheduled for training in August to become a full-time officer, police said.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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