PEARLAND, TX - For the first time in decades, Pearland police are mourning one of their own officers, killed in the line of duty.
"It's like losing a family member."
Officer Endy Ekpanya died early Sunday morning after a collision in his cruiser. Police say he was responding to a non-emergency call and did not have his lights or siren on.
Police believe another vehicle changed lanes and slammed into his patrol car head on. The impact knocked Ekpanya unconscious and trapped him in the cruiser.
Jason Wells of the Pearland Police Department says, "The fire department was summoned to the scene where they extracted him from the car and airlifted him to the hospital, Memorial Hermann, where he succumbed to his injuries."
Police believe the other driver had been drinking.
Wells added. "From what I understand she has been officially charged...I believe it's going to be intoxication manslaughter."
Ekpanya leaves behind his fiancee and a two-year-old son. Now, his immediate family and his police family rely on each other to make it through this difficult time.
Wells says, "Losing someone like that is just complete devastation on each and everyone one of us. We're gonna be working diligently and trying to move forward together."