More than 2,000 people gathered to honor the life of Austin Police Lieutenant Clay Crabb. Crabb received full police honors Monday after he was killed in a crash on Highway 290 while responding to his first call of the day.
The 42-year-old's death was sudden and unexpected. "His death has affected many in the community and among his first responder family," said APD Chaplain Rick Randall who read Crabb's obituary.
Crabb loved being a police officer. After serving four years in San Angelo, Crabb joined the police force in Austin. During his 15 years of serving Austin he earned 16 commendations and awards and was recently promoted to operations lieutenant.
There was standing room only at the Bannockburn Baptist Church. Brothers and sisters in blue saluted the fallen officer and his family as they drove under the American flag.
"The community also mourns the loss of a public servant, son, father, brother, husband and proud Aggie," said Mayor Lee Leffinwell.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Lt. Crabb stood out. He was always willing to volunteer for assignments and was active in Special Olympics.
"We're mourning but we're not just going to mourn we're going to celebrate a life well lived," said Acevedo.
Friends say Crabb was most proud of his wife and three children ages 9, 7 and 4.
"Clay was a loving husband and fantastic father to his three kids," said friend and former partner APD Detective Ken Casaday.
With their flashing lights police cruisers from departments all across the region lined up for the three mile drive to Crabb's final resting place.
His law enforcement family reminded his immediate family that they will not be forgotten.
"I will be here along with all of APD from now until forever," Casaday said to Crabb's family.
"We will move on but we will move on together holding on to the sweet memories," said Acevedo.
Crabb's service to the city ended with one last call. A reminder his watch is over and of the ultimate sacrifice he made.
Governor Rick Perry sent a condolence letter Acevedo read during the service.
This is the second time in a year and a half APD has buried an officer. Non-profits work to help the families of fallen officers.