HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) – Matthew Barbee, a father to 3 and an 11-year veteran of the Tigard Police Department, is in critical condition a day after his vehicle was rear-ended by a drunk driver while he was off duty.
Barbee sustained severe trauma to both his head and neck.
"At this point we're unsure to when, or if, Matt will make a recovery from this horrific accident," a Tigard police spokesman said Friday.
Sherrie Barbee, Matthew's wife of 19 years this July, said her husband is "One of the most kind-hearted people I know. He would give you the shirt off his back."
She added: "He's just a great man. i couldn't ask for a better husband and father."
The crash was reported at 1:34 a.m. at the Cornelius Pass exit. Barbee had mechanical problems with his car and was pulled over to the side. He phoned a friend for help then got back in the car. That's when he was rear-ended by an SUV. The driver of the SUV was not injured, according to Hillsboro Police.
A LifeFlight helicopter flew Barbee to the hospital in Portland.
Tigard Police issued this statement Wednesday, saying the motorist who struck Barbee's vehicle was intoxicated.
On behalf of Chief McAlpine and the entire Tigard Police Department, we would like to express thanks to everyone who has shared their heartfelt well-wishes along with their thoughts and prayers directed to Tigard Police Officer Matthew Barbee.
Officer Barbee was seriously injured earlier today when the vehicle he was seated-in was rear-ended by an intoxicated driver. The crash occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Hwy 26, near the Cornelius Pass exit. Officer Barbee was heading home after finishing his patrol shift when he had vehicle issues and pulled-off onto the shoulder. After calling for assistance and awaiting help, Barbee's vehicle was struck from behind by an SUV driven by an intoxicated motorist. As a result of the high speed impact, Officer Barbee sustained serious injuries and was transported by helicopter to a Portland trauma center. The Hillsboro Police Department is conducting the investigation.
Officer Barbee is an eleven-year veteran with the Tigard Police Department and currently assigned to patrol.
Officers with the Tigard Police Department are now at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in North Portland to be with Barbee and his family.
"The next 24 hours will be very crucial," Wolf said regarding Barbee's recovery.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Barbee remains in critical condition.Lisa Balick contributed to this report.
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