A K-9 officer was officially retired from the police force of Ligonier Township located in Westmoreland County on Tuesday night.
The K-9 officer, Blek, lost his partner, 17- year police veteran, Lieutenant Eric Eslary, who was killed in a crash with the driver of an SUV that was going the wrong way in May.
Ligonier Township Police have also permanently retired Badge Number 4 which belonged to Eslary.
It is believed that the driver of the vehicle that struck Eslary’s police SUV was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The first responders to the scene of the accident reported smelling the strong odor of alcohol on the breath of the suspect, Clair Fink III.
Fink was arrested and charged with DUI in connection to the crash.
Blek was also injured, having suffering injuries to his legs as well as having internal injuries.
The Ligonier Township Chief of Police handed both the badges of Eric Eslary and Blek to Elsary’s widow, Mary Beth Eslary.
Because the actions of this driver resulted in the death of another person, they potentially will be facing far more serious charges along with their DUI charge. Not only will they face criminal charges, but there are also civil liabilities that will most likely follow from Lt. Eslary’s family in order to recover damages and wrongful death.
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