PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Butler County woman died after her motorcycle collided with another vehicle late Wednesday night.
It happened in the southbound lane of the Liberty Bridge just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office says Kristine Bartman, 30, of Harmony, died a short time later at UPMC Mercy Hospital.
Her husband, Zachary Bartman, is still trying to comprehend the loss.
“She literally made me a better person from the time that I knew her, and I hope I can continue that in her absence,” he said.
The Liberty Bridge was closed for several hours while crews investigated the scene.
“She was violently rear-ended by another driver which forced her into the back of another vehicle,” Zachary said. “She was senselessly taken from us by someone that was not paying attention.”
Bartman was a part-time officer with the Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police Department. She served on the force there for over a year.
She was off-duty at the time of the crash and was wearing a helmet.
“We caravanned three police units with nine police officers to the Mercy Hospital emergency room and awaited the arrival of her husband, which he arrived about five minutes after we got there,” Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police Chief Joseph McCombs said.
When Chief McCombs talked about Bartman, he used words like outstanding, respected and well-liked.
“Very well-respected by her peers and by neighboring departments and was a phenomenal police officer,” Chief McCombs said.
Two Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police cars currently sit in front of the station with black wreaths.
The Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police Department released a statement, reading:
“It is with a heavy heart, that Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police Department mourns the loss of one of our own with the passing of Officer Kristine Bartman. Officer Bartman joined the Evans City/Seven Fields Regional Police Department in March 2015. In her far too short time with our department Officer Bartman fulfilled her dream by following in the footsteps of her grandfather and her brother, Michael, both of which served and currently serve in law enforcement. Officer Bartman established herself as a standout police officer in the communities she served. Kristine conducted herself in the utmost professionalism, dignity and honor to the profession. She was loved and respected by those she served and those she served with. She will forever be in our hearts and minds as we carry on in her honor.”
The chief said Bartman was in Pittsburgh for the Justin Bieber concert, which she attended with her family.
“I will miss her smile, she’s an awesome person,” said friend Kenneth Thomas. “I worked out with her in the gyms. They’re such beautiful people, her and her husband.”
An autopsy on Bartman is planned for Thursday.