‘His heroism will live on’: Austin police officer dies after crash with 18-wheeler Wednesday

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Police Department officer has died Saturday night following a crash with a tractor trailer Wednesday that sent him to the hospital.

“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that I share with you the news that fellow Austin Police Officer Andy Traylor has passed away,” a notice from the Austin Police Association reads. Former APD Chief Brian Manley posted the announcement to Twitter.

“Andy is leaving blessings for many people who will be receiving his organs through transplant,” the APA notice went on to say.

APD said on Wednesday Traylor had been with the department for nine years and said in 2018 he served in the Navy for 10 years prior to becoming an officer. The Office of the Chief Medical Officer for Austin said he leaves behind a wife and five children.

Those with the department said Traylor “never hesitated to answer emergency calls to protect people in the middle of the night.” One of those times came in 2014 when he helped pursue Rashad Owens, the man convicted of capital murder after he drove through a crowd of people during SXSW, killing four. Traylor later testified in the trial.

In 2018, Traylor was highlighted on APD’s Facebook page for its #BehindTheBadge feature, in which he said he loved being an officer because “new things happen each day.”

Interim APD Chief Joseph Chacon wrote on Twitter, “even in paying the ultimate sacrifice, Andy was committed to helping others in their time of need and his heroism will live on.”

“I’m just devastated tonight. We lost one of the best officers I’ve worked with,” President of the APA Ken Casaday posted to Twitter.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler expressed his condolences on Twitter as well, saying Traylor’s service to the community will not be forgotten.

Austin City Council member Mackenzie Kelly wrote, “Ofc Traylor took pride in serving his community and his work ethic was contagious to all who worked w/him.”

Austin City Council member Vanessa Fuentes wrote on Twitter: “I am saddened to hear of the tragic outcome of this week’s on-duty crash. My condolences go out to the family of Officer Traylor. His service to our community will not be forgotten.”

Fellow APD officer Bino Cadenas said he was one of the department’s “finest officers.”

“He made the ultimate sacrifice while performing his duties as a public servant, responding to danger. He will never be forgotten,” he went on to write.

https://twitter.com/Officer_Bino/status/1421649452239052800

Austin Cops For Charities is collecting donations for Traylor’s family, and Casaday said they will be holding a procession as his body is transported to the medical examiner’s office Sunday at 9 a.m. Funeral details are to come.

The 100 Club of Central Texas is also collecting money for his family on its website, or you can donate by texting “100clubcentex” to 44321. 

The crash happened early Wednesday morning around 2:10 near the intersection of FM 969 and Decker Lane. Traylor was responding to a call when an 18-wheeler made a U-turn in front of his patrol car.

APD previously said the driver of the 18-wheeler stayed on the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police are still determining if charges would be filed against the driver of the tractor trailer.

Anyone with information about the crash should call the APD Vehicular Homicide Unit at (512) 974-8111.

  • Austin Police Officer Andy Traylor (Austin Police Department Photo)
  • An APD officer is in the hospital after a crash on FM 969 near Decker Lane on Wednesday morning. (KXAN photo/Nabil Remadna)
  • An APD officer is in the hospital after a crash on FM 969 near Decker Lane on Wednesday morning. (KXAN photo/Nabil Remadna)
  • An APD officer is in the hospital after a crash on FM 969 near Decker Lane on Wednesday morning. (KXAN photo/Nabil Remadna)
  • An APD officer is in the hospital after a crash on FM 969 near Decker Lane on Wednesday morning. (KXAN photo/Nabil Remadna)

Casaday said the last APD officer to die in the line of duty was Officer Amir Abdul-Khaliq, who had been with the department for 17 years. He died in September 2016, after he was hit by a car while escorting a funeral procession on motorcycle. The driver who hit Abdul-Khaliq was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

APD held a procession for Traylor on Sunday morning, which began at Dell Seton, as Traylor’s body was taken to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The City of Austin has a webpage dedicated to officers who were killed in the line of duty, dating back to March 1875.

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