Off-duty APD officer killed in Dripping Springs crash

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by ASHLEY GOUDEAU & TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalists KENNETH NULL & CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 16 at 7:10 PM

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas -- Wet roads led to a fatal collision in Dripping Springs that killed an off-duty Austin police officer.

Austin police identified that officer Tuesday afternoon as Lieutenant Clay Crabb, 43.

The Department of Public Safety confirms that the crash happened around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on U.S. 290 near Sawyer Ranch Road.

DPS Trooper Harpin Myers said Lt. Crabb was traveling eastbound on HWY 290. He was on his way to work when he hydroplaned, lost control and crossed into oncoming traffic. A pickup truck then T-boned his car.

The other driver was taken to an area hospital to be evaluated but is said to have no major injuries.

A large law enforcement presence was at the scene all morning. The Hays County Sheriff's Department, DPS, Austin Police Department and a chaplain were on site.

A convoy of Lt. Crabb's colleagues escorted the ambulance away from the scene.

"It's a great loss for the Austin Police Department. A bright young officer, a lieutenant, well regarded by all his peers. And he will be missed in the department and there are no words to express how he will be missed by his family," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

Crabb attended Texas A&M University. He served with the San Angelo Police Department from 1994 until 1998.

In 1998, he joined the Austin Police Department. Crabb and Detective Kenneth Casaday trained together and were partners for five years.

"He and I worked South Congress back when it was infested with drugs and prostitution. And he and I worked on that for years. And I would like to think we made South Congress what it is today, which is a great place to live and work," said Casaday

Casaday said he will miss his friend. "The most important thing you should know is that he was a great father and loved his family and his wife."

Mayor Leffingwell and City Manager Marc Ott visited Crabb's family Wednesday.

 "I went out and visited this morning with his surviving wife, and he is also the father of three children," said Leffingwell. "I was trying to figure out words to say to her and I couldn't. There's just no words to express. Forty-three years old, three small children, a wife, a good career ahead of him. Truly a tragedy."

"It's hard to find the right words on such a tragic occasion as this," added Ott.

Flags at the police department and other city offices are being flown at half staff in Crabb's honor and his comrades now wear black bands around their badges.

"He was a member of the City of Austin's family and is going to be treated as such," said Leffingwell. "I told his wife that if there's anything that I can do personally or that the city can do to please let us know. We will be standing by to provide that aide and assistance."

"It doesn't end with our visit today. It won't end after the memorial, funeral services. We are going to surround that family and make sure we see them through this tragic set of circumstances through the long term," Ott added.

APD released a statement on the loss of their fellow officer Wednesday. It said in part, "The loss of Lt. Crabb is tragic and APD is asking everyone to please allow his family the time and privacy they need to mourn their loss. This is a great reminder to all of us as to how fragile life is."

While at APD Lt. Crabb earned a total of 16 commendations and awards.

Those wishing to make donations can do so by contacting the 100 Club of Central Texas or Austin Cops for Charities. The donations should be made in the name of Lt. Clay Crabb. 

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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