PA Community mourns officer killed in crash

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LIGONIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Pennsylvania State police are investigating a wrong way crash that killed a Ligonier Township Police Officer.

Eric Eslary’s patrol SUV collided with a van about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh.

“It’s a horrible loss, you know. I’ve heard some of the guys say they still can’t breathe,” said Det. John Sleasman,Latrobe Police. “And they can’t absorb this, and I’m one of them.”

Sleasman had known Eslary for nearly 20 years. They were close friends who fished together. “We’ve done everything together. Our families hung out together, picnics together. The whole thing. He’s going to be sorely missed.”

As officers prepare to say their final goodbyes, the investigation into the crash continues. An accident reconstruction team will attempt to determine why the van driver, Clair Fink, was headed the wrong way on Route 30, and slammed into Eslary’s patrol vehicle. It will be a few more weeks until toxicology results determine if alcohol played a role.

Detective Sleasman says Eslary loved his family and community. He was dedicated to his job and his K9.

“He was genuine. That he was a true dedicated police officer. He was extremely dedicated to this township and this community. He loved everybody here, loved everything about it.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.