Funeral held for Pa. police officer killed in wrong way crash

Written by The Associated Press | May 11, 2015 2:40 AM

(Ligonier) -- A western Pennsylvania police officer killed in a wrong-way crash is being remembered as the face of his community. 

Hundreds of people, including many fellow officers, gathered over the weekend for a funeral service for 40-year-old Lieutenant Eric Eslary.

The Ligonier Township officer was killed early Tuesday in Westmoreland County when a van smashed head-on into his patrol sport utility vehicle on Route 30.

Latrobe K-9 officer Bob Derk, who went to high school and the police academy with Eslary, said, "There is a hole in my heart that can't be filled.''

Many attending Saturday's service at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Ligonier dabbed their eyes as speakers remembered the 17-year veteran, who established the township's K-9 unit and was also a volunteer firefighter. 

He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth, and six children.  

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