Midlothian officer, 22, fatally injured in wreck

04/23/2014 2:58 PM

04/23/2014 3:00 PM

Midlothian police officer Heather Phares, 22, a native of Mansfield, was remembered Tuesday as “wise beyond her years.”

Phares died Monday morning of injuries sustained Thursday in a wreck on U.S. 287.

Phares was a 2009 graduate of Mansfield Summit High School, according to a news release from Midlothian police. Her funeral is set for Friday in Midlothian.

Capt. John Spann, a police spokesman, said Phares was recruited for “her integrity, sound judgment, enthusiasm, willingness to learn and commitment to service.”

“The Midlothian Police Department has lost one of our finest,” Spann said in a news release, “and there are no words to express our deep sadness.”

Phares was 21 when the department hired her in November 2012. She graduated a year ago from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy.

Spann said fellow recruits described her “as energetic, naturally talented and wise beyond her years.”

The wreck happened as Phares was driving home after working a special assignment with the local school district, according to earlier reports.

She was in a Ford F-150 pickup that hit “the rear of a tractor-trailer carrying steel” in the 2000 block of West U.S. 287, police said. No one else was hurt.

Fellow Midlothian officers and firefighters freed Phares from the wreckage. She was taken by helicopter to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

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