HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) - The Austin police officer who was killed in a car wreck on his way to work Wednesday was identified as Lt. Clay Crabb. He would have turned 43 on Thursday.
Crabb, who was promoted to his rank in March 2012, is survived by his wife and three children, ages 11, 8 and 4.
"That's the thing that worries me the most, is the three kids and making sure they're taken care of," said detective Ken Casaday. "I know it's going to be hard being raised without a dad."
Crabb was in his city-owned car when it slid on a rain-slick stretch of U.S. 290 in Hays County. The Ford Crown Victoria veered into westbound traffic and was struck by a pickup truck occurred near Sawyer Ranch Road after 6 a.m.
According to Trooper Harpin Meyer of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Crown Victoria was headed east on 290 when it hydroplaned and veered into the westbound lane. It was hit broadside by an oncoming pickup truck. The other driver was not seriously hurt, Meyer said.
The investigation at the crash site was made more difficult because of the rain, officials said.
For law enforcement officials, the officer's death struck a chord.
"As all of you can imagine, this is a huge loss for APD and it was unexpected," Austin Assistant Police Chief Raul Munguia told reporters at a news conference. "Lt.. Crabb was a man with a big heart and a great sense of humor to those who knew him."
"We'll get through it," Casaday said. "We do we have a big APD family and we always get through it."
At the crash site DPS Trooper Michael Cantu added: "It definitely does hurt."
A motorist who regularly drives the stretch of highway said it can be treacherous.
"These guys have been trained. They do know how to drive," said John Teague of Dripping Springs.
"And in the conditions out here we don't know what's going to happen."
The crash scene is about a mile from the site of a wreck last month that left four construction workers dead. That wreck happened Sept. 13 at U.S. 290 and Belterra Road.
Crabb will have a funeral service will full honors, Munguia said.
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