PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Ligonier Township Police lieutenant who was killed in a head-on crash while he was on duty earlier this week will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon.
Hundreds of people came to pay their respects to Lt. Eric Eslary during two days of visitation at the McCracken Funeral Chapel in Ligonier Township on Thursday and Friday.
Many of them – family, friends, community members and fellow officers – waited in line for more than an hour.
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In addition to his work with the police department and as a K-9 handler, Eslary was a volunteer firefighter. He was well-respected in the community.
“He was just a wonderful, loving, caring friend, officer, parent, neighbor. Just the most spectacular man,” said Judy Ebbets, a family friend.
Eslary leaves behind a wife and six children.
His K-9 partner, Blek, is still recovering after the crash.
Lt. Eslary’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Law enforcement from across the country will converge on the tiny, historic town of Ligonier.
“There could be 600 to 900 vehicles … which means 4 to 5 miles of police vehicles,” said Director of Public Works Paul Fry.
All those vehicles will also be flowing into the Ligonier Valley at roughly the same time. The caution signs are already out and it will dramatically affect traffic.
“Expect an hour delay if your are coming east or west on Route 30,” said Fry.
Planners are also asking that anyone who wishes to show support for Eslary’s family line West Main Street during the procession.
Parking will also be a challenge.
“In town will primarily be geared toward police vehicles and those participating in the procession,” said Fry.
You can also click here for a map of the procession route.